Does your family operate on a “all for one and one for all” mindset? Or, does your family behave as if all parties share a common kitchen, but not much else?
What I am really asking is do you really connect with the others in your family or does everyone operate somewhat independently?
In families where everyone pulls together for the good of all, a bond is formed. When all know that conflicts are short lived, their bond grows because love and forgiveness abound. When all know that there are boundaries for behavior, peace prevails. When all know that a cry for help will bring everyone running, a sense of security exists.
When the right things are in place, a house is a home and the family thrives.
If all a family shares is the kitchen – and not necessarily all at once, no relationship is formed. No discipline boundaries exist. No love is shared. No experiences are held in common. Each member will tend to operate not as a member of a whole family, but as an independent unrelated person.
I would guess that marriages often end because there is no sense of “we’re in this together.”
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Cleave means stay close, adhere, and cling. A couple is meant to stick together. They are to be one flesh. For couples, life is to be a joint effort.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
This provides a pattern for the family. It speaks to how the members fit together and relate to one another. When you strive to build your marriage and your family according to God’s Word, your chances of success increase dramatically.
Today’s challenge is to ask yourself what your relationship with your spouse and children resembles. Does it look like a family? Or, does it look like a bunch of individuals sharing the same house? Ask God to show you how to grow that bond between you and your spouse. Ask God to show you how the 2 of you can grow closer to your children. Even if your children are grown, it’s important for them to know you are still there. Parenting is forever.