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.