A core task in creating a great family environment is to establish your home as a place of nurturing and acceptance. The goal is to make your family a “home base” for all of its members.
As your children grow up to face the challenges and uncertainties of life, let them have at least one place where they know they are cared for and valued. As parents, my wife and I work toward creating a household environment that will nurture the development of our children, and help them establish genuine independence as they progress in life.
However, we hope in the future that their concept of home will allow them to return and experience our family household as a refuge of warmth and love. We hope that they whatever their course, they will return with their families and always be strengthened by our family experience.
Psalm 127: 3 – 5tells us, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…”
The truth is that our children, and our families are our greatest possession. When the family is “home base”, each family member is able to experience nurturing and perceive acceptance in the daily life of the family.
The number one need in all people is the need for acceptance, the need to experience a sense of belonging to something and someone. However, providing an environment of nurturance and acceptance can be challenging in our fast paced society.
Here are five tools that can help you build this dynamic into your family experience.
1. Make Your Family a Priority
Commit to purposefully work on the improvement of your family on a daily basis. When you rise in the morning, pray to God about this goal. Keep a notebook regarding the problems you face. Keep a record of new ideas that you will discuss with your spouse. Read books on creating dynamic family experiences. Reschedule or forgo work activities to spend time with your children. Change your normal routines so that you can create more time with the kids.
2. Discover and Highlight the Gifts in Your Family
For each family member, identify the unique skills, abilities, interests and talents that have been created in them. Help each child discover these gifts and have a passion and excitement about how they can use their skills in new ways. Make it your job to draw out the skills and abilities of your children. Make the home a place where abilities are valued and given opportunity.
3. Create a Sense of Peace in Your Home
Conflict in the household will always result in the opposite of nurturing and accepting relationships. Conflict will create insecurity in the children, and make the home a place your children will learn to avoid. Develop great communication strategies with your spouse. If extreme disagreements occur, avoid arguing in front of your family. If these displays occur in front of the children, allow them to also see a loving resolution. Eliminate any abusive behavior from your family environment.
4. Celebrate Accomplishments Together
Each role that a person plays in the family needs to be identified and valued. Husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, provider, nurturer, student (and the list goes on). Teach your family about each role that they take on. Discuss daily the importance of each role and the activities that are associated with them. Celebrate the accomplishments that are a product of the roles your family members play. Support each other in carrying out these activities. Teach the family that a victory for one person, is a victory for the whole family. Celebrate together!
5. Make God the Center of Your Home Base
Many families have already established tools and techniques with the goal of living a victorious family life. However, a family without God can never experience the spiritual bond God brings to their relationships. Any family without God, will eventually crumble and fall from the inside, regardless of how well its plans are constructed.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving God out of the life of your family. This is the key ingredient to establishing your family as a home base.
Be a part of a bible-believing church. Involve your children in the ministries of that church. Pray and study the bible together at home. Lead your children in the faith that will give them an opportunity to make a decision for Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Let your family experience and know the love that only the Lord can bring. This is the ultimate in nurturance and acceptance, to know that Jesus loves us, and that heaven is our eternal home base. Make this central in the life of your household.