Maybe the primary root cause for Christian marriages failing today is that couples have chosen the secular ideals of marriage instead of being grounding in biblical teachings on marriage and family life. Only a return to God centered teachings can remedy our current crisis surrounding marriage and the family.
The most important biblical principle is Christ’s love. When was the last time you told a family member, either in a letter, e-mail, or in person, that you loved him or her? Failure to express our love, verbally or visibly, especially to young people, can have disastrous effects. Young people need to know that they are loved. They need to see it and they need to feel it.
According to a study of more than 500 family counselors, the following are the top traits of successful families:
- Communicating and listening
- Affirming and supporting family members
- Respecting one another
- Developing a sense of trust
- Sharing time and responsibility
- Knowing right from wrong
- Sharing a religious core
- Respecting privacy
Good, strong families do not just happen. It takes a great deal of hard work to build, nurture, and help our families grow in love, freedom, respect, and kindness. In the end, nothing is guaranteed. We cannot control how children are going to turn out. However, that does not mean we should not put our whole heart and soul into making our families the best they can be.
An essential ingredient of any successful family has to be an awareness of what is going on in the family. Awareness means paying attention to our other family members, listening to their stories, taking an interest in what is important to them.