What is one secret to a great family? That its a very hard question too answer. I suppose if I have to narrow parenting and family down to one concept, that more often than not leads to success, that concept is COMMITMENT. But commitment is more than stick-to-iv-tive-ness. (I am not sure that is a real word, but I like it and this is MY blog!). There are at least twelve parts to committed parenting and the committed family.
1. Respect – Respect others and yourself.
2. Trust – Trust provides for openness and sharing of emotions.
3. Acceptance – This is not simply accepting how they should be but also how they are. (Exception is with sinful behaviors that are choices.)
4. Goals – Remember that we neglect what we do not plan. Set behavior goals, growth goals, and maturity goals among others.
5. Affirmation – Communication of respect, love, acceptance, etc.
6. Unselfishness – This is the core principle of commitment. This is Jesus washing the disciples feet.
7. Responsibility – By definition this is the ability to respond. In practice this is responding to the family, including but not limited to carrying your part and more than your part of the load.
8. Understanding – This is empathy in practice. Learn to understand other family member’s feelings and concerns.
9. Honesty – Always speak the truth, and as Paul would remind us, do so with love.
10. Participation – Be a part, fulfill your role, you will find commitment easier when you involve yourself in the family.
11. Tradition – Traditions, the retelling of family binds us together. Repeating activities brings unity.
12. Religion – Obedient active faith in God through Christis the glue that holds family together here and for eternity.