Girlfriends in God - May. 10, 2011

May 10, 2011

How to Enjoy Your Family

Part 1

Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm. A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised (Proverbs 31:11-12, 30, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Family means different things to different people. What is a family? Well, I can tell you that it is not what it used to be. Family is no longer simple. It is complex, constantly changing and a blend of different relationships.

  • Couples with children
  • Couples with no children
  • Single women with children
  • Single men with children
  • Grandparents with children
  • Parents with grown children who have left and then come back home
  • Close friends living together
  • Unrelated people living together

And they all are family. Family is a group of persons belonging to or forming a household. More important than the definition of family is the purpose of family. There are no perfect families. There never have been and never will be this side of Heaven. However, the purpose of family here on Earth is to illustrate the nature and character of God. In other words, family is the primary place we learn about God. 

A Sunday school class of first-graders was asked to draw a picture of God. When the pastor stopped by to inspect their work, the children were happy to show him their drawings. One had drawn God in the form of a brightly colored rainbow. Another had drawn the face of an old man coming out of billowing clouds and there was one drawing that looked a lot like Superman. Perhaps the best drawing was the one proudly displayed by a girl who said, "I didn't know what God looked like exactly, so I drew my daddy.”

Family is important to God. He created it before He created the church and He has a plan for the family to succeed. At the heart of that plan is love. To be part of a family is to be loved. So the real challenge is … how can we love our family?

I know we all want to be part of a family where we give and receive love. Proverbs 31 tells us how. This chapter, a portrait of a wife and mother, was painted by a King as the kind of woman his mother wanted her son to marry. It is a standard of excellence, not only for women, but for every member of every family. In the life of this woman, we find several ways to love our family. 

Build trust.
Proverbs 31:11 tells us that “her husband has full confidence in her.”  “Full confidence” literally means to trust, to take refuge in or to lean on. The Proverbs 31 woman spent a lifetime building trust. She trusted God and had a personal relationship with Him. We cannot be trustworthy if we are not trusting, and if we don’t trust God, we cannot truly trust others. If we are not “taking refuge” or “leaning on” Jesus Christ, when others take refuge and lean on us, we will crumble and fall. Trust shatters fear.

Psalm 56:3-5 (TLB) “But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God. And since I am trusting him, what can mere man do to me?”

Trust is fragile and once broken, very hard to build again. When our son was a little boy, he constantly rode on the trusted shoulders of his dad, and loved it. Then, one day, at a church youth activity, one of the youth was playing around and punched Dan in the stomach. Dan was caught off guard and the youth hit him harder than he meant to. Dan doubled over and Jered tumbled to the ground. The next time Dan tried to put Jered on his shoulders, Jered flatly refused. It took months for Dan to earn Jered’s trust again. To enjoy our family, we must first trust God before we can build trust in our family. Our family needs to be able to trust us, no matter what – with no hidden land mines. There will be no joy in our homes if there is not an atmosphere of trust. Family is a “team” idea and nothing is more deadly to the success of a team than a lack of trust. Trust God and then build trust in your family. Tomorrow, we will explore more ways to enjoy your family. Don’t miss it!

Let’s Pray
Father, thank You for the family You have given me. I want to love them like they need to be loved. Help me to build trust in them as I learn to trust You more. Lord, help me to be trustworthy and to be the woman You want me to be in my family. 

In Jesus’ name,


Now it’s your turn

  • Make a list of ways your family can trust and depend on you.
  • Identify any areas where you can build more trust.
  • Have a family meeting to discuss what it means to be a team. 
  • Constantly look for ways to foster the mindset that your family is a team.

More from the Girlfriends
Everywhere I look, splintered and broken families abound. Why? I believe that somewhere along the way, trust was broken by an affair, a betrayal or a forgotten vow. What is even more frightening is the casual approach to that broken trust. God is calling us to trust Him and then to build trust in our family. Right now, no matter how many times you have failed, begin again. Need help? Check out Mary’s resources on marriage, parenting and difficult relationships.

If you need help dealing with the pain in your life, enroll in Mary’s weekly online Bible Study,How to Handle Hurtand learn how to face and deal with the pain in your life. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

Originally published Tuesday, 10 May 2011.