Summary: Family 101/Day to Day
Family 101 (Part 3)
Day to Day
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much.
Running a successful family is a combination of faithfulness in four different areas: routines, schedules, kids, and harmony.
Each of these areas has a key word that helps keep you on track. Those words are order, priorities, character, and expectations.
1. Routines: order
The heart of a family is its routine. A routine is the evidence of a focused life. When a family gets unfocused, every day is different and unpredictable. This builds insecurity into everyone in the family.
A routine is a regimen of discipline that promotes order. Schools have a routine: starting time, classes, recess, lunch, dismissal. In your home, establish a starting time and an ending time for your day. Establish mealtimes, fun times, study times, and devotional times.
Stay focused on keeping up your routine. When your life begins to drift into disorder and confusion, strife, stress, and fighting will result.
2. Schedules: priorities
Americans are living with crazy schedules: three jobs, two working parents, fast food.
A good schedule comes from setting priorities.
Your priorities in your family should be as follows:
God: worship (first day of the week), accountability (small-group membership), daily devotions (prayer and Bible study), ministry
Marriage: date night, daily time for fellowship
Kids: family night, bedtime devotions, and some outside activities that the family can manage
Work: a work schedule that does not hinder any of the above (under 50 hours a week by living within your means)
Exercise: maintaining your health and stamina
Home: maintaining home, cars, and properties
Fun: TV, hobbies, vacations
3. Kids: character
Routine and schedules are a large portion of raising kids. They respond best in an ordered environment. Their day-to-day routine involves meals, chores, and school.
You must set priorities for raising successful children:
Knowing God: There should be daily family devotions, particularly up to age 12. Jewish children memorized large portions of the Torah by this age. Even as a child, John the Baptist became “strong in spirit” (Luke 1:80).
Strong character: Ages 1–5 are the “wet concrete” stage. Teach with commands, boundaries, and consequences for character development until age 18. Use the rod to shape the will. Discipline until there is repentance. Affirm before and after imposing discipline. Always have consequences for disobedience and rebellion, and allow the child to experience them. Chores and responsibilities should be based upon age.
Education: This must have a higher priority than sports and fun. All outside activities should be based upon the success and completion of school assignments. Keep in close contact with your child’s teachers, always taking the teacher’s side in any conflict unless definitely proven otherwise.
Physical, mental, social development: Limit television, movies, and video games. Encourage good diet. Enforce table manners. Monitor every relationship, especially online. Sports, hobbies, and trips are dead last in priority because they ultimately contribute less to your child’s adult destiny.
4. Harmony: expectations
Maintain harmony between husband and wife.
Expectations: Most arguments start over unmet expectations. Working out roles and responsibilities for finances, maintenance, children, meals, etc. is the beginning of solving most arguments.
Frustration: Many arguments result from frustration. When one partner does not follow through with the expected role or the other has an unmet need, an explosion will often happen, sometimes quite unexpectedly.
Communication: Talk through expectations and frustrations in private and with your emotions and words in control. Daily repent to each other and come back to zero.
Parents and children must live in harmony.
Time: Your child’s biggest problem is a lack of time with you. In times of transition and difficulty for the child, double the time you spend with him.
Roots: Look at roots, not fruits. Don’t look at symptoms, but look at deep roots in the child’s heart causing conflict. Rejection is the number one cause of conflict between parent and child, and it is solved by affirmation.
Brothers and sisters must learn to live in harmony.
Favoritism: Avoid favoritism. A rejected child will constantly act out and demand rejection.
Aggression: Never reward aggression. Penalize the aggressor, and protect the peacemaker.
Consequences: Establish consequences for disharmony. Tell your children in advance the consequences for fighting and conflict.