Hopson and I often hear how lucky we are to have such a great family. We have been happily married for over 18 years and have four beautiful, healthy, wonderful, funny, obedient children. Am I blessed? You know I am… way more than I deserve. But I also know it has nothing to do with luck. It has everything to do with love, trust and forgiveness. Our family is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we are intentional in the things we do.
Like anything that runs smoothly, we have a plan. You wouldn’t build a car without a plan, so why do we build families without any prior thought? Unfortunately, children don’t come with written instructions, but within our family, we are age appropriately honest with our children. We are not afraid to tell them the truth about anything. Like any marriage or parent/child relationship, it’s based on trust. So as you get your plan together, make sure to include a huge helping of trust thrown in. If you don’t have a plan, it’s never too late to start one!
Here are some of the questions Hopson and I asked ourselves as we talked through building a family. You won’t have just one discussion and be done. You will find that as your children get older you will need to discuss new challenges your family will face, but here is a good place to start:
- What are the absolutes going to be within your family? These are the things you will not change, no matter what.
- How will you keep romance alive once children enter the picture? Children suck romance right out of your marriage if you don’t have a plan on how to maintain it. Remember, you were a couple before your children were born. Take time to love each other often. I also recommend modeling this behavior in front of your children both with your words and deeds. They gain security from seeing their parents in love.
- What kind of parents are you going to be? Strict, yet loving…firm, but encouraging….permissive? It’s important to know why you will act the way you do. What expectations do you have for your children?
- What values and lessons do you want your children to learn? As your children get older, are you going to allow them to fail so they can learn from it, or are you going to always bail them out?
It’s a lot to think about, but building a great family needs a little more than luck. No matter what, build your family on love. It can’t survive without it.
This post was written by Ashley Nance. Contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org
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