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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

Building a Godly Family: Does Your Family Have a Promise?

When God gave us our first child, God gave us a new identity and we became a family. We went from being a husband and wife into being a father and mother. Suddenly there was another life in the house that demanded our attention, my attention specifically. Family is a word I always imagined but had no idea how to attain. Family is not just a group of people who live together, it is the God-given building block of life for humanity. Family is a supernatural living organism united by God’s design. God chooses exactly who to give each child to, whether born through their bodies, or through adoption. Each person in the family is a member, a representative, a supporter, a leader, a follower, a teacher, and a caregiver. No one has more rights than another, no one gets to opt-out, no one gets to hurt another willfully and unconditional love is given liberally. That said, no family is perfect and family dynamics always start with TRUST. When coming up with our family promise, this one came about for us when we realized we had morphed from a loving family into a truncated, unhappy ministry ‘team.’  We were serving according to our spiritual gifts. We were giving, according to our means. We were helping, sacrificially and endlessly. We were miserable. About halfway into the Bible project, we had sacrificed so much personally for the sake of the vision that our relationship time became inconsistent and strained. We replaced friendly joking with sarcasm and cooking dinner together with fast food trips, or worse yet…  we just made eggs and toast and would retreat to our individual bedrooms. I’m not sure how long it took, but one day, we realized that being a FAMILY was more important to us than simply accomplishing an objective – even if we felt like our calling from God was sure. We needed each other, we loved each other, we missed being a family and we needed to trust God that He would honor our calling more if we honored each other more. Isn’t it funny how we can be purposeful about a project, but not purposeful about building our family? We started the process by writing this promise! We sat down, in the middle of our mess and asked God a simple question. What is the vision statement of our family? So starting with God at the center, we started building it one line at a time. Together, we created the Family Promise by thinking about the difference between ‘who’ each person in our family was, not “what’ they were created by God to do – including being a part of our unique family tree. So, for example – just because Mandie could sing like an angel, she did NOT have to be the worship leader of the congregation EVERY Week. Just because Joe was a great sound tech person, he did not have to attend every event and fix every problem and never get a break – much less a simple thank you! Just because we were the Rabbi’s family, we didn’t have to bring the entire kitchen to everyone, always stay late to clean and never be expected to get resentful when we carried the load alone. We learned a lot about each other working through this Family Promise, and now we take care to show kindness to each other and work on BEING a family, not just working as a ministry team. We encourage you to prayerfully make a few family promises of your own. Then, just watch how wonderful it is to love each other enough to take care of one another with both your heart and your actions. Life gets better when you honor each other.

How using this one example can teach your children about order in their Family

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