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Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. (Proverbs 1:17)
I love Chinese food. In fact, I think it loves me too. What other kind of meal gives you such a huge menu selection, variety of tastes and a hollow wisdom giving cookie at the end?
One of my favorite dishes to order is called "Happy Family". If you are not familiar with this item, it gets its name from its multiple mixture of mouthwatering munchies that add up to one mongo meal. I'm pretty sure that every plant and animal family is represented somewhere in the dish.
Too bad life isn't that way, because wouldn't it be great if there was another recipe for a "Happy Family" that would apply to people instead of platters?
No, I'm not talking about cannibalism! What I'm trying to get at is a formula for the group of people who live under the same roof. Deep down, don't we all desire to have joy within our homes? Yet there are many folks in this day and age who view family as the hurricane of their lives: a veritable storm of conflict and inner turmoil. Parents filling up their schedules with work and activities, and children delving into friendships and video games- many times simply to avoid being around each other.
I guess "Happy Family" just isn't a menu option for a lot of families- which isn't the way God intended it to be.
Did you know that He actually gives us the recipe in His Word? It's simple really- and it is mind-boggling to me how many parents and children ignore it, then wonder why they find home such a bitter place.
So let me pass on God's ingredients for "Happy Family", and then you decide if you want to change the list of options in your household.
First, start individually with an uncompromising relationship with Jesus:
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (Mark 12:30)
All the other items build on this one, so if you don't add it- forget it!
Next, parents add enormous amounts of marital stability. This is made up of two key elements- both of which must be present; otherwise this ingredient goes very sour.
You husbands must love your wives and never treat them harshly. (Colossians 3:19)
You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)
Add to this mixture parent/child bonding. This one is a little tricky, because most people only consider one half of the combination- which (again) has two components.
And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. (Ephesians 6:1)
Finally, throw in the "golden rule" sauce, which adds a particularly sweet flavor to all the ingredients:
Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
There you have it: the Father's formula for a favorable family. You may think that this looks too simple, but you would be amazed how the application of these elements would radically change the atmosphere of most households.
I'll close with your 'fortune cookie' message for the day:
Are your days less than delightful in your domicile? Try ordering up "Happy Family"!
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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