The Family You’ve Always Wanted

6 Jul

In our our small Care Group meeting, we are discussing a very fundamental principle in raising a family.

This principle is rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus which is focused on sacrificial service to others. He once said, “I did not come to be ministered but to minister.” Life’s greatest meaning is not found in receiving or getting, but in giving. 

Based on this principle, there are 5 ways to make it happen. These are taken from the book, “The Family You’ve Always Wanted” by Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the bestselling book, “The Five Love Languages.” 

This is a blueprint that was compiled according to God’s standards of how a loving, stable, and healthy family should be. 

Married people today have the desire to have a family they have “always wanted.” But we have no clear picture of what a healthy family looks like.  

In our culture today, we face a challenge of what defines a “family.” The concept of family has now been translated to a bigger, better, more culture with an emphasis on personal happiness.  

In my family, we also desire the same things. 

This is how we apply these 5 timeless characteristics:

1. Develop a heart for service. We teach our children in the household how to serve by assigning them age-appropriate tasks. Miguel takes care of washing the dishes after meals during weekends and this summer. The younger ones, Jaime and Andrea, have taken the taks of arranging their beds, setting the table, and packing their toys.  

This teaches them to help in the family with their fair share of work. This also allows them to learn how to serve other people outside of the family. We regularly visit orphanages and street children centers where they help us serve the kids by packing grocery packs and offering them songs of encouragement. On Sundays, they help out in the Couples Missions Table.   

We help develop these acts of service that makes difference in other people’s lives at a young age. We do this consistently and it enlarges their hearts and pleases God. 

 At He Cares Foundation with street children last December, the kids play songs and distribute gift packs.

 

2. Start relating intimately to your spouse. We encourage each other by meeting each other’s needs. We apply the principles in His Needs, Her Needs and we try to invest in each other’s emotional Love Tanks by speaking each other’s primary love languages. Check out The Five Love Languages on how you can discover your spouse’s love language. 

We encourage our spiritual intimacy by opening our souls to each other, we develop our intellectual intimacy by sharing our thoughts, we build our emotional intimacy by discussing our feelings, we share social intimacy by spending time together and having weekly dates, and we build our physical intimacy by sharing our bodies and by constantly being affectionate to each other.  

Attending one of the couples retreats for building our spiritual, emotional, physical, and social intimacy.

3. Guide your children well. In training our children, we need to keep in mind first that we need to let them feel loved by speaking their love languages. It is a challenge to teach our children but we need to do this by creatively encouraging them in their efforts, affirming their uniqueness for who they are and not by what they do. 

We only correct lovingly those behaviors that are destructive rather than something that might probably limit their creativity. We do it not in anger but applying consequences rather than harsh words. 

We not only verbally instruct our children but we also weave words with actions. It is said that before age 15, they do what we say. But after 15, they do what we do. That’s how influential our behavior is to our kids. 

Our daughter, Andrea, after her confession, and praying silently.

As much as we can, we make time to teach and train them in 5 settings: in the morning, sitting around the house, walking or traveling on the road, during bedtime, and at other times such as weekly dates. We teach our children different skills during these times: intellectual skills such as reading and writing, physical skills like household chores and sports, social skills such as table manners, and spiritual skills like praying and spending quiet time with God. 

The most important thing we teach our kids during these times are character development, and the values we deem important to impart to them, such as obedience, honor, service, courage, hard work and honesty. Even just spending time with them on our one-on-one dates already speaks volumes of the value of relationship and family.

4. Help your children to obey and honor you and your spouse. Even while we are making our kids feel loved and encouraged, we also need to teach them obedience and honor. We set up rules, agree on consequences, and administer discipline lovingly. It is only through suffering the consequences of their behaviors can our children learn obedience. Doing this lovingly and with the best interest of our children brings about honor from them.

We also model obedience and honor by showing honor to our own parents, treating them kindly while they are still alive. Three or four times every year, we have our parents over to the house to spend time with us. These are the times we show them honor. We give them gifts and cards and greet them during special occasions. We spend time with them in our yearly vacations, serving them during mealtimes and acknowledging their sacrifices during our childhood. 

With both our parents in one of our yearly trips together, and our kids above showing honor to their great grandfather by playing songs for him during his 99th birthday.

Our children get inspired and they always say that they will do the same. The most fulfilling moment we have of feeling and seeing honor from our kids is when they give us notes and cards that say how thankful and happy they are of having us as parents. We chose a life of generous service, investing our lives to honor our parents, honor God, and bless other people. Our children see this in our family and they are motivated to do the same.

 

5. Build a family with a husband who loves and leads. Since the role of a husband and a father is crucial to the home, we as couples need to work on this mandate that the husband is the spiritual leader, protector, and provider in the family.

Wives like me are encouraged to offer encouragement, words of affirmation and praise to support our husbands in this daunting task. We need to offer up encouragement in their efforts without expecting perfection or attaining accomplishment so that they are motivated to do better things. 

We are to share our desires through requests rather than demands so as not to elicit defensiveness from our husbands and rather receive a better response. I would have to say that I need to grow in this area. There are times I may have pushed the defensive hot buttons in my husband without intending it.  Rather than accomplish a task, we end up in an argument that can only be resolved when we communicate to each other effectively. I need to learn to express my desires with care and concern and not hurt my husband’s self esteem.  

My husband and I are our children’s number 1 fan. He is there to support our kids in all their endeavors.


Here are the traits of a loving husband:

  • views his wife as an equal partner and works well with her when making decisions
  • views his wife as an equal partner and works well with her when making decisions
  • communicates with his wife openly and in positive ways
  • loves his wife unconditionally
  • is committed to discovering and meeting his wife’s needs and
  • seeks to model his spiritual and moral values.

And as a loving father:

  • is actively involved in his children’s lives
  • makes time to be with his children often, engages in conversations with them regularly
  • plays with them often
  • teaches them his values
  • provides for and protects his children and
  • loves his children unconditionally.

These are the 5 ways we make it happen in our family. You can, too. This is God’s model for us to follow.

 

Blogger’s Note: Care Group Bites are weekly discussions in the Couples Ministry of the Light of Jesus Family in Feast Pasig. These are marriage and parenting enrichment seminars aimed to help couples build a God-centered marriage.

Life is Amazing!

LENY

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