5 Fool-Proof Ways To Create A Loving Family Life
Early in our marriage my husband Geoff and I agreed that we wanted God to have first place in our family, we would have lots of love and fun but also boundaries. We wanted our children to have empathy for others and to be able to say they had a blessed childhood. How do you create such an environment? Here are some of the things we’ve learnt along the way and have intentionally put in place.
1. You are Your Children’s Greatest Teacher
Teach your children by being an example - they watch and listen to you more than you think. I make sure the girls know how much I love Geoff and always speak well of him.
Create an atmosphere of respect and kindness by being kind more often and right less often.
Say please and thank you when asking each other to do things and always encourage your kids to say thank you when they are leaving someone’s home.
We’ve always had Connect Groups in our home - ours or hosting others – demonstrating serving and hospitality and an open home policy.
2. Believe in Your Children
If they want to try something that you think is way out of their league, let them have a go. When Ruby was 10 she asked if she could have singing lessons. I immediately thought (but didn’t voice!) ‘Why would you want singing lessons, you can’t sing!!’, and instead of saying no, I said “Darling, of course you can have singing lessons”. Well you would have every reason to be laughing at me right now – Ruby released her first EP last year; is the voice on a Volkswagen advertisement and has been on the worship team since she was 18. God believes in them, so should you!!
3. Go on Holidays Every Year
This is the fun part of being in our family. It doesn’t have to be grand - it’s a time to relax, no social demands, meals alone, and depending on each other for fun and support. Sometimes just being together and having quality time is what is needed.
We also organise times with other families - we have been camping every year since we were married with a bunch of other families from church.
4. Do Life Together
Involve your kids in what you do, fixing things around the home, washing the car, going to the hardware store, or cooking. Geoff used to have “dates” with the girls, even if it was McDonalds and would help with school projects. Both girls have done a half marathon with Geoff.
And the most important one of all ………
5. Love God and Pray
I know our girls are secure in our family because they know that we love them, we love each other and we love God. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve said “We are so blessed”. “God loves us so much”. The first thing I do when I wake in the morning is thank God for my life, for Jesus and the Holy Spirit, then I pray for the girls and Geoff. When they drive off, I always wave goodbye and say “Thank You God that they are blessed and have favour today.” Geoff always prays for the girls when saying good-night.
We know it’s not always easy, but parenting is one of the most satisfying journeys you will ever do. Their childhood is so short and fragile. And the rewards of having well-balanced, nice, caring kids far outweighs the demands placed on your lives.
Love Chris xx
Chris has been a member of C3 Church for 24 years, which is where she met Geoff (in a Connect Group). They have been married for 23 years and have 2 children - Ruby (21) and Eloise (18). Chris and Geoff are Lay Pastors and are passionate about building strong, fun, Godly families.