yellow couch on white wall“Something terribly important is missing from today’s families: a consistent dose of biblical truth mixed with God-given wisdom.  By substituting the entertaining for the eternal, we have suggested a shortcut to happiness and satisfaction.”  ~~ Chuck Swindoll, “The Strong Family”

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve discussed that in the process of building, a secure, stable foundation is essential, and then comes the walls – strong and straight, so that the house does not shift or lean.   As moms, we must have a strong spiritual foundation and the truth of God as our plumbline in order to build families that are strong and secure.  Even more necessary is the building of the walls — absolutely essential for the framework, but also for protection and security.  It’s easy to put forth these principles in summarized Christian-ized language, but what does this actually look like fleshed out?  And what can we as moms use as tools in the every day building of our families?

“Through skillful and godly wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established and by knowledge shall its chambers (rooms) be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3-4.

First of all, we need to study the bible like never before – it’s where we find guidance and answers.  And we need to be smart moms — we need to do our research and we need to pay attention.  There are several reasons why the Christian home is so invaded by the culture, and we don’t have time to dissect every one.  But I will mention two:  We have become Desensitized and Distracted from the Stillness and Strenght of the Standard — God’s Word.  And we are substituting other resources for the truth of God’s Word.  As a result, it is even more challenging in this year of 2013 to counter the culture, but we must continue to choose God’s blueprint.  So again, how do we practically do that?  Here’s what I did as a young mom, and maybe this can give you some ideas about how to apply this plan to your family.  After spending time thinking about what I was really hoping to accomplish in the raising of my boys, and what life truths I wanted them to grasp, I developed the framework for teaching God’s truth in the form of our Family Rules

Instead of listing “don’ts”, I thought of 7 character traits I wanted to see my boys develop.  And I found a verse in the bible as the base for God’s truth.  Here they are:

1.  Obey Parents – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is the right thing to do.”  Ephesians 6:1

2.  Say Kind Words – “Arguing, harsh words and dislike of others should have no place in our lives. ” Ephesians 4:31

3.  Treat Each Other With Kindness – “You should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to other.”  Colossians 3:12

4.  Be Honest – “You must not lie.”  Exodus 20:16 (There are more verses in Proverbs about lying.)

5.  Take Care of Our Belongings – “God richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17

6.  Be a Cheerful Helper – “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you will become blameless and true, children of God.”  Phillipians 2:14-15 (This was one that we seemed to go over a LOT!)

7.  Remember Manners – “Do not think only of yourselves.  Try to do what is best for others.”  1 Corinthians 10:24

And our Family Verse was Phillipians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  God gave me this verse when my boys were very young and it was what I used to filter decisions we made regarding what media, music, movies, etc., to allow at various ages when we encountered difficult and challenging choices.  Maybe it can be a good family verse for you too!  

We’ll look at more verses next week to use as tools for building strong families.  Because the challenge comes as our children get older, beyond our walls – and we want to make sure we’ve given them the tools they need to survive and thrive even amid today’s culture.