“When Jesus then saw His mother,
and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby,
He said to His mother,
‘Woman, behold, your son!’
Then He said to the disciple,
‘Behold, your mother!’
From that hour the disciple took her
into his own household.”(John 19:26-27)
Author Jay Dennis describes one of the last acts of Jesus while on the cross. He writes,
The sin of the world was all put on Jesus. Eternity hung in the balance. Nails were in his hands and feet. He had been beaten beyond recognition. He was bleeding profusely. The sin of the world on him had separated him from the Father. He was lonely. He hurt as no one has ever hurt. Yet he looked at John and said, “Take care of my mother. Take her into your home and treat her as your own mother.
“The family is the most basic unit of government. As the first community to which a person is attached and the first authority under which a person learns to live, the family establishes society’s most basic values.”
There are many enemies that combat a consistent practice of family as a priority. Three of those are:
1. Time – One of these days I will…
2. Work – I’ve got to make a living.
3. Selfishness – What about my needs?
Jay Dennis describes 10 ways to make family priority a habit.
1. Recognize that according to God, the greatest priority on earth is your family.
That is God’s order of priority. The family God has given to you must become your first priority, after your relationship with Jesus Christ. The family is the first institution God established.
2. In God’s order of priority your marriage comes first, then your children.
It is a great mistake for parents to put their children before their marriage partners. When meeting the needs of one’s marriage partner becomes the priority, parenting is strengthened. A strong marriage is the family’s greatest ally.
3. Admit that you cannot do this without God’s power.
To be the marriage partner and parent you need to be requires God’s intervention in your life. As wonderful as marriage and parenting can be, they can be the most challenging assignments we will ever be presented. With God’s help, our family can be our greatest life experience.
4. Calendar family time.
If it is not calendared, it probably won’t happen. We calendar nearly every other event in our lives yet often fail specifically to incorporate into our schedules that which is most important. Each week have a planned-out family time. Quantity time, not just quality time, is essential.
5. Be Jesus to your family – serving them.
This especially applies to fathers, whom God has placed as spiritual leaders in the home. Each family member should see himself or herself as representing Jesus to his or her family. Remember, Jesus came to serve, not be served.
6. If your job is damaging your family, either adjust your schedule or change jobs.
7. Listen to your family
8. Have fun together.
Laugh together. Let there be laughter in the walls of your home. Deliberately create fun moments within your home. Humor is a great family asset.
9. Be principle centered, based on the Bible, not rules-driven.
The biggest difference between the two is the attitude in which they are presented. Rules-driven homes can be cold and legalistic, placing the rule ahead of the person. To be sure, there must be rules, but rules based on biblical principles will bring out the best in people.
10. Engage God together.
“It is my view that our society can be no more stable than the foundation of individual family units upon which it rests. Our government, our institutions, our schools, indeed, our way of life are dependent on healthy marriages and loyalty to the vulnerable little children around our feet.”
-James Dobson, Focus on the Family
A father came home tired and irritable. His son asked his father how much money he made in an hour. The father, not in a good mood, answered harshly, “I make $20 an hour.” A little later the son asked his father if he would give him $10. By now the father was really agitated and gave him the brush off. Later that evening the father felt he had been harsh and went to his son’s room and gave him the ten dollars. The son reached under his pillow and pulled out some crumpled dollar bills. Now the father blew up and asked why he asked for more money when he already had some. The boy said, “I did not have enough but I do now. Daddy, can I buy an hour of your time?”