“If we reach the family, we reach the world.” – Bill Bright
Through the years, the structure and definition of “family” have changed in many households — including the ones on television. During the golden age of television, shows such as Donna Reed and Father Knows Best simulated the picture-perfect home life of the “typical American family.” These programs were like a Norman Rockwell painting- filled with cheery, lovable characters and well-behaved children who respected and loved their parents. It would be nice to be a member of a perfect family, but then reality sets in and you realize there are no perfect families in an imperfect world.
In our imperfect world, we need and should pursue a Christ-centered home. Contrary to what some people believe, a Christ-centered home is not a home governed by dead, restrictive, “religious” rules. Instead, it’s a place where occupants sense that they belong, to God and each other – where people speak and act and relate to one another in the awareness that God Himself is an intimately concerned participant in everything they do. So how do we go about making our family be all that God desires for it to be? Whether you’re young or old, regardless of your family’s present situation, consider the following:
First, put some fun back in the family. Joy was a part of the early idyllic tv families and it is a characteristic of a truly Christian home today. Family fun is an important part of building a strong family identity. When families have fun together, it builds a bond that can last a lifetime. Traditions are often developed in times of fun. Those traditions help define and individualize each family. Every marriage and every family will experience trials and hardships of various kinds, but there is no circumstance that can rob us of our joy if we know that the key to our present welfare and future destiny lies in Christ alone.
In Father Knows Best, the family was always looking for ways to serve one another. In the same vein, a Christian home is a place of service. Its atmosphere is tempered and flavored with acts of kindness, respect, humility, and love. This is where husbands and wives discover that serving each other in Christ is primary; that service to others in the outside world is built upon an attitude of selflessness at home; and that all of life, including the mundane duties of laundry, housekeeping, and lawn-mowing, can be sacred. It filters down to the kids as well.
Everyone got along splendidly in Father Knows Best. It seems unrealistic to be sure. But a Christ-centered home is covered by grace. It’s a safe place to mess up. There’s enough hostility, judgment, sarcasm, and antagonism out in the world. Home is designed to be a refuge from all of that.
- Belonging and relationships are what we’re here for. They take time and work and effort. They require you to put yourself out there and allow the world to see you… all of you. Agree or disagree and why?
- What is inhibiting your ability to have a Christlike family?
- What steps can you take this week to overcome those obstacles?