First, remember that Satan is the god of this world and is working to destroy the family because he knows that strong traditional families hinder his purpose—to destroy mankind. The war on family is intended to hasten our demise! To protect your own family, you must counter his influence.
In Your Marriage
Plan to spend time together with your spouse. Learn to enjoy the same hobbies or recreational activities. Read together, listen to music together, go walking together, play tennis together. Sharing activities will help keep you friends for life.
Rekindle the flames of romance that drew you together. Court each other! Get a babysitter for your kids and go out for a date, and not too infrequently. If you can, go on short trips alone— two to three days long, two to three times a year.
God designed sex to produce pure, righteous, clean, holy and rich blessings! He made it to be the loving bond to preserve your marriage in love. Use it as an energizing magnet to draw constantly closer together with increasing love—to heal over those little irritations in life. And always be giving, never selfish, in sex.
Realize that you and your mate are a team, working together in harmony—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Share each other’s thoughts, attitudes, emotions, bodies and the physical things in life. A husband and wife rise together and they fall together.
As with any team, there must be organization. God ordained the husband to lead his wife and family (Ephesians 5:22-23). While you are to make final decisions for the household, consult your wife for counsel. Discuss all aspects of the decision that must be made. When an agreement can’t be reached, prayerfully make a decision that you feel will best benefit the family.
The wife, her husband’s spiritual equal, is to be a fitting help, or aid, to him (Genesis 2:18). Study Proverbs 31 and build the skills and character to be the best possible support to your husband and family. If your husband doesn’t take your advice, back his decision and try your best to make it a success. Show him respect; be sure he knows you value his leadership.
Communication is vital to a happy home. Communicate in a quality manner about quality subjects. Express your ideas, judgments, and emotions. Be open and honest—but also kind. Use pleasant tones of voice and facial expressions when talking to one another.
Communication is a two-way process. Take time to listen with genuine interest to your mate. Don’t be impatient and constantly interrupt. Be attentive not only to words, but also to the feelings and meaning behind the words.
Resolve conflicts. Two cannot walk together without agreement (Amos 3:3). When there is anger or division, do not rest until you have rooted it out of your marriage. A popular song says, “I just want to be mad for a while.” Don’t buy into that reasoning—it only separates you. Discuss the problem at the first good opportunity.
Don’t tear each other down. Beware constant, hard criticism; or arguing and belittling. Forgive and forget minor irritations. If you must point out a fault to your spouse, be kind and patient in your approach. Couch it in love and appreciation. And don’t continue bringing the subject up.
We all need appreciation—so learn to express and receive it. Think about what your spouse does for you and the family—even the ones you tend to take for granted. Express your thanks. Don’t focus on the negative and fail to see things that are worthy of praise.
Talk positively about each other both inside and outside of the home.
Keep up your personal health and appearance. Good health, grooming and hygiene is of utmost importance in marriage. It shows that you respect and have concern for your mate. Dress to please your spouse as well as yourself.
In Your Child Rearing
Provide good music often for your children and read to them daily with animation and voice inflection (studies indicate this even has a beneficial effect while they are still in the womb). This will begin to instill a love of reading and music appreciation into their precious minds. It stokes their curiosity and imagination, and enhances bonding between parent and child. It is also a fantastic memory-training technique. As children begin to talk, they will be able to “read” books from memory! Continue reading to them aloud as they grow older.
Teach your toddlers to respect authority, especially yours. Discipline them appropriately for their age—for rebellion and infractions of rules that you have taught them. And always do this calmly, with explanation and love, never in an outburst of rage.
Spend a lot of time playing with your toddler. Provide toys that stimulate creativity and develop motor skills. Discovery Toys, for example, is one company that produces quality toys that focus on learning.
Have fun with your young children. Take them to the library, the park, the zoo. Make them laugh a lot. Above all, leave no doubt in their mind that you love them and that you are willing to sacrifice your time for them.
Teach young children to be responsible. Build a good work ethic in them. As soon as they are physically able, require them to help you with household duties and chores. For example, make them responsible for keeping their rooms organized and tidy. If you have pets, give your child the responsibility to feed and care for them. Whenever possible, home improvement, gardening, landscaping and other household projects should be family affairs.
Be honest with them. They must learn to trust you. If you want them to be honest and open with you, especially as they grow older, you have a better chance of securing their trust if they know you are always candid with them.
Teach your children about sex. You need to start teaching them as soon as little minds begin to become curious about little bodies. Most importantly, make sure you stay ahead of the gutter-talk they will be exposed to from their peers. Our free book The Missing Dimension in Sex can help you do this. It is available upon request.
Apply these principles before your children go to school so you build a strong foundation of parental respect. By the time they go to school, your children should be convinced that you are their rock-solid provider, confidant, nurturer and protector. They should know that they are fully loved and fully secure under your care.
When your children do go to school, don’t relinquish your position as the most important influence in their life. Continue to be heavily involved with your children. Become familiar with their teachers and friends. Participate as much as possible in school activities. Every day, rehearse and review with them what they were taught. If necessary, be prepared to counter any wrong teaching.
As they start into their teen years, make sure they stay busy. Encourage them to excel in school and to participate in sports; music programs such as band or choir; and computer, language or chess clubs. In addition, cultivate their interests. Help them to develop hobbies such as photography, arts and crafts, sewing, cooking, gardening, woodworking, building model cars, planes or trains. If time and grades allow, a part-time job would help them learn to handle responsibilities in the world of work and prepare them for the “real” world. Overall, keep them busy with fun and wholesome activities!
Stay involved with your children as much as possible and keep the lines of communication open with your teens. This is of paramount importance. You need to know what they are thinking about. And they need to know that they can confide in you about anything. Provide opportunities to simply talk about whatever is on their minds—daily family meal time and a weekly family fun night are ideal. Ensure that you carve out that time for them!
Above all else, teach your children from infancy the correct truth about God, His law, way of life and moral authority. Teach them to pray daily as soon as they can speak.