Building Family Relationships

Building family relationships

Having a successful family requires to critical things 1) desire and 2) effort. Many have the desire to have a great family but are not willing to put forth the effort. The effort is where the rubber hits the road. Effort requires behavior change. Focus on your desire and the outcome and the effort becomes easier, even joyful. Here are some helpful ideas that we have and still employ in our family relationships.

1) Eating dinner or at least one meal a day 4 days per week (breakfast or dinner)
2) Eating lunch with your kids at school
3) Read to your kids
4) Hug your kids each night while they are lying in bed or getting ready for bed. (Hug them in their bedroom, not some other room.) This builds intimacy.
5) Tell your spouse "I love you" in front of the kids. This builds security in the marriage and in your children's mind.
6) Hug your spouse in front of the kids
7) Brag on your spouse or kids in front of another family member
8) Block out time with your wife 1 night a week to enjoy each other for an hour: read together, synchronize your calendars, sit on the couch together (rarely is watching TV together building relationship unless you are sitting beside each other very close)
9) Turn off the TV or Internet at 9 PM each night
10) At least once a week at dinner, have each person talk about the best thing that happened today. If they say "nothing" do not pass on them. Tell them to think of something and you will come back to them. Tell each person "Thank you for sharing that."
11) Greet with a loving "Good morning" to each family member.
12) Hug your children or tell them "I love you" before they go to school. Pray over them before they go to school.
13) Have a date with your wife at least once a month
14) Dads tell the family how much you appreciate them. Say "I love this family" or "This is a great family!" Dads reinforcing the value of the family creates cement in family relationships. When Dads are "on board" with the family unit, wives and children are more secure, more content and emotionally stable.
15) Wives say something positive about your husband in front of the kids on a regular basis. Build your husband up with words of encouragement, especially in front of your children.
16) Notes - notes of encouragement are a great way to build relationship. Leave your spouse or kids a surprise note by their pillow, in their lunch box, on the dash board, etc. I use sticky notes for the kids. I have seen a torn and faded note on taped to the inside of my daughters notebook. What I thought was just a little note stuck in her lunch was huge in my daughters eyes.
17) Spend at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time once a week with your spouse while the kids are at home. Tell you kids this is "Mom and Dad" time. Guard that time and don't let the children interrupt you. At first they may try to see who is more important- them or the marriage relationship. We did this in our family calling it "marriage time." We had younger kids and we met in the kitchen to synch calendars and just talk. We literally had to block access to the kitchen with chairs for the little ones wanted to interrupt (i.e. be the center of attention.) After we did this twice, the kids stopped interrupting and actually asked the next week "Are you going to have marriage time this week?" The main goal is to show your kids the marriage relationship is more important than the child relationship. This action and priority creates a sense of security for children.
18) Write your parents a handwritten note or send them a card.
19) If you travel, send your family a post card
20) Learn each person's love language and practice speaking their love language
21) Tell you spouse or kids why you value them or what makes them special. Be very specific, not general. People forget the general but remember the specific.


Colossians 3:12-21

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."

This all about relationships. God designed families to function effectively when practicing these principals through the love.

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