Our family is dysfunctional, just like your family is, and every other family in the world. Since every family is made up of imperfect people then we are not going to find a perfect family, no matter how much they appear to resemble the Huxtable family. However, those imperfections don’t necessarily mean our families cannot be happy, cannot be healthy, or cannot be successful. In fact, every family can and should have happiness, health, and success.
I am learning that families that put into regular practice the following 9 qualities can and will have a Happy and Healthy Family.
- Love. Choosing to demonstrate a selfless love for each family member, and showing this love through action. Love is a verb.
- Joy. Making a decision to choose joy in any and all situations, not based on feeling or emotion. Parents when your kids act like they were raised by somebody else, and not you, still choose joy. You have the ability to choose.
- Peace. Peace is freedom from conflict, which is almost laughable in a family. At least in ours, as their is always conflict. Yet, it can be achieved. Try holding your tongue in a potentially volatile situation or try sacrificing your wants.
- Patience. When we are patient with one another, when we tolerate pains or trials calmly without complaining, we demonstrate the love mentioned in #1.
- Kindness. This almost goes without saying. When family members act in a friendly, generous, and considerate way it encourages everyone to do the same and makes choosing joy and showing love easier.
- Goodness. Clearly defining what your family values are and how everyone is expected to live according to them precedes this. When family members practice making right choices and taking right actions everyone benefits.
- Faithfulness. When you commit to something individually or as a family, make sure you do it! There is no greater breaking point than to lose the trust of a family member by not doing what you said you would do or by not following through on family commitments.
- Gentleness. Another word for gentleness is humility. The bible teaches that pride comes before destruction, and before honor comes humility. When family members put other family members above themselves then honor comes to the entire family.
- Self-control. When individuals practice self-control, then acting on the points above is possible. Another word to be used here is discipline, which can be defined as taking actions to improve a skill or something. When families are disciplined in taking the actions above the family unit becomes better.
As I look at this list, I realize that our family has plenty of room for improvement. I hope you feel the same about your family, and more importantly I hope you begin to make a regular practice of them all. I encourage you to work on one quality per week as a family and repeat the cycle when done. You will begin to move toward a happier and healthier family when you do this.
Question: What would you say is the most important quality in the list?