As I wrote this article I was aware that I would be addressing a variety of family units. For example my father was one of eleven children. That is a huge family. My wife was one of five children. I am the oldest of three children in my family. I also realize that there are many families with both a father and mother and there are those with only one parent. So it would be difficult to address all who read this as identical. That simply is impossible. However, I do believe that there are certain principles that every family team can benefit from regardless of their structure or size. So, here we go!
Your family team can produce the best community of friends you will ever know. After all they were there with you when you were born or were adopted. Hopefully they have encouraged you as you have grown. As much as we do not like to talk about it, hopefully those who you love will be with you when you draw your last breath. A good family is better than any other organization on the planet.
Your family team can help you grow honest character. Your family is not perfect but who is perfect? Growing up with those who are willing to share in your imperfections can teach you in a way better than any college class you could take. Don’t be hard about the imperfections of those who love you and maybe, just maybe, they will return the favor. The encouragement of developing healthy character is done best by those who love you.
Your family team can teach you how to communicate. Some family members are much better at carrying on a conversation than others. Here is a suggestion. When you have dinner or lunch with your family cut off the TV, the games, and the computer, and the cell phone for about 30-40 minutes. Outlaw text messaging for the same time. It will be amazing how you will be able to talk with one another when there is no distraction.
The Apostle Paul gives this advice about how to grow you family team!
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (New International Version)
Never forget, your family can be the best team you ever work with! Take good care of this great gift!