As one who has received the immense privilege to stand by my husband, the man of God, Dr. Shawn Smith, to fulfil God’s mandate of sharing His love with the nations, I have had the singular opportunity to learn a lot about the place of strong families in the Ekklesia of Jesus Christ. I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the features a strong Christian home should exhibit:
- Commitment to each other
When God created man, man was created as an intricate being of spirit, soul and body. That same model of spirit, soul and body recurs in the household. Just as it is the Spirit that is joined to Christ, and the life of the Spirit is administrated through the soul to the body, the husband is the head of the home, and the wife is the administrator of the husband to the children. This is the description of the structure of the government of the household.
The father is the head, but the father’s decisions are administrated through the mother. The mother has to have the following phrase on her lips: “your father says”. This is because the father cannot superimpose his own authority without the administration of the mother.
Authority is not respected in homes today because the father wants to speak directly on every issue. When the voice of the mother does not reflect the voice of the father, there is a divided government. Commitment in a home begins with the mother and the father first, then from the mother and father to the children.
2. Enjoy spending quality time together
Quality time is not quantity time; but you need to make sure you spend quality time together as a family. You need to have a weekly family time whereby you can either watch a movie or plan a vacation together.
3. Communicate freely and openly
The reason why many children, when they come to the age of adolescence make mistakes is because they do not see a counsellor in their parents. That is why as parents, you need to learn to speak openly and freely with your children about life and issues of life. A child has the right to criticise the parent if it is done in a free and open manner. There are two types of criticism, constructive and destructive criticism. Children have the right to constructive criticism.
4. The open expression of love and appreciation
Love needs to be expressed in a home. Learn to demonstrate love towards your children. Learn to tell them how much you love them and how much God loves them. Learn to appreciate them and tell them how beautiful or handsome they look. There needs to be an open expression of love and appreciation. When children grow up in a home without affection, there will be insecurity and no sense of destiny. There is no greater failure than to fail in your home. No matter how successful you are in life, if your children do not partake of your success in your character, you have failed in life. Your family is where ministry starts. If you are a minister of the gospel, you are not a professional pastor who simply goes and preaches sermons on the pulpit and it is not lived in your own house.
5. Maintain close relationships with one another in crisis situations.
If one of your children commits a crime or fails in an exam, it is not time for you to remember all the terrible things they have done. Failure can remain an event if it does not affect your attitude. It becomes a lifestyle when it affects your attitude. If you make your children feel they are a failure because they failed their exams, they will become a failure.
6. Spiritual commitments
Your children will not remember you for what you say but for what you do. You cannot speak to your children about Christ unless they see it. If they do not see it, they are not going to live it. As a parent, avoid making negative comments and criticizing church authorities because it will affect your authority as parents in the home.