7 Characteristics of Healthy Families

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(Last Updated On: July 30, 2016)

are seen as the pillow of any society. However, many homes or families are very dysfunctional, children displaying behavior problems and many of them are not being discipline properly, parents are hardly there for their children, absentee fathers, conflict in the home, physical, sexual and emotional abuse among others.

Studying the common traits shared by successful families can help you strengthen your family. Why is this important for families to create and maintain a healthy and harmonious family life?

A strong family can be a source of emotional support, love, security and protection, which makes the challenges and trials of day-to-day easier to face. Studies have shown that children raised in healthy homes are able to live happy and productive lives. Not only that but children flourish when they feel loved, nurtured and supported by their parents and siblings. A good family life can even have positive effects on your physical and mental health, including improving blood pressure and increasing life expectancy.

When thought of creating families he intended and designed the family to be the basic building block of society. What this means is that for our communities to be stable, the families that comprise them must be as well. Could the fact that we have many dysfunctional families in society be the root to society morality decaying? I think so.  It is God desire for that families produce godly offspring that will make His family (Malachi 2:15) and expand His family.

Forming Healthy Family Unit

The best ways to strengthen your family is by studying successful families and what traits they share. When you understand what a well-functioning family unit looks like, you will be able to follow in their footsteps and produce healthy home for your household. Here are some of the most vital traits of , from a biblical perspective:

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1. They have a deep commitment to each other

Every family will have their differences; there will be difficulties, disagreements, trials and troubles. Strong families like every other families have their share of problems also. They experience setbacks, have their share of disappointments they get laid-off and can’t find a new job. They struggle to make ends meet. Kids and parents butt heads.

However, despite all of this what sets them apart is that they don’t give up on each other when circumstances become strained or unpleasant, or when the other party disappoints them or lets them down. They are dedicated to each other and are committed to each other—through good times and bad.

They don’t stay together when things are good but are each other throat or abandon each other when time gets rough. Rather than let hard times destroy them or their relationships, strong families work together to correct problems.

Even if they are not Christians, their foundation is upon the principles of . They understand that by following the principles of “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”- Luke 6:48

2. They spend time together

Healthy families understand the necessity of making family time a top priority. They know that if they are going to stay strong they must make time for each other. Despite long workweek, school activities, social relationships and household chores all of which can make family time can be hard to come by- they still manage to squeeze family time each week, no matter how busy they think they are. Healthy families know that time spent together is crucial.

By doing this they are expressing to each other that they value and care for each other, which of course will make each family members feel more connected to each other and helps build and strengthen family bonds.

And you don’t have to spend a lot of money or go to expensive restaurants are places to make family meaningful. Family time could mean engaging in shared activities—eating meals together, playing games, going on picnics, watching sporting events, enjoying recreational activities, etc.  These time together should be without distractions like TV, music headphones, video games and smart phones. Spending time together even doing mundane daily activities will help your family to grow stronger.

3. They communicate with each other

Members of Members of strong families spend a lot of time engaged in conversation with each other. When you spend time with each other talking you learn more about each other, their feelings, opinions, concerns, dreams and aspirations and perspectives and more….

While spending time with each other they talk about a lot of things, not just the regular stuff e.g workweek but no subject is considered off-limits. They may talk about routine topics like their weekend plans or what happened at school or work, or about the deeper, more serious issues of life. If there are particular issues affecting the family, they may plan special family meetings to discuss them.

Not only do they communicate with each other, but healthy families also work at developing constructive communication skills. This includes learning to be open and honest, but still speaking in a loving manner (Ephesians 4:15)—focusing on the kind of conversation that builds others up rather than the type that tears them down (Ephesians 4:29); listening carefully, without distractions; and not “mind-reading” or jumping to false conclusions when another person is speaking.

By practicing good communication skills, family members show they respect and are genuinely interested in each other.

4. They appreciate each other and not afraid to verbalize this

For families to stay together and stay strong, it is important that each member in the family feel appreciate and have this communicate. Having a father telling his son that he loves him and value him will do a lot to his self-esteem.

Appreciation helps motivate family members to continue to behave in a positive way toward each other. It also helps build confidence within a person, so we have the wherewithal to meet obstacles that are inevitably going to come our way.

This should be express often, both verbally and with meaningful gestures. This might be done by telling your spouse how much you enjoyed the dinner he or she prepared, or by saying “thank you” to your children after they cleaned the kitchen. These same sentiments can be expressed by leaving notes somewhere for family members to find, such as in their lunch boxes, or even sending text messages.

But appreciation shouldn’t be limited to thanking others for what they do for you. Let family members know how special they are. Tell your spouse and children what qualities you most value in them. Say “I love you” often. Praise their strengths and accomplishments. Let them know you enjoy spending time with them. Done sincerely, expressions of love and appreciation deepen the bond between family members and strengthen the family unit.

5.Family Members not just look out for themselves, but they also look out for each other

Healthy Families understands the meaning of this principle that Jesus taught his disciples that “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). Family members don’t just look out for their own self’s, but they also look out for each other. They treat each other with respect and concern about each other feelings and life. Each family member before making important decisions that will affect other family members, first consider how how others will be affected when making important decisions. Before speaking, they think about whether they would want to be on the receiving end of what they’re about to say.

If we want our families to be functional we must treat them as we would want to be treated. Each family should strive to create an atmosphere in which each family member feels loved and is inspired to work for the common family goals.

6. Healthy Families resolves conflicts constructively and promptly

Misunderstandings are a part of every family. Not only that at times we may do things that offends those closest to us that we didn’t mean. If these conflicts are not resolve speedily and in a loving way, it can lead to bitterness and grudges on both sides. Communication and respect then start to wane, mistrust builds, and family camaraderie disappears.

This is not the case in healthy families. When misunderstandings are issues arise they are quickly dealt with. Negative feelings are not allowed to fester. Conflicts are resolved quickly. The offender is willing to apologize and take responsibility for his or her mistakes. The offended person listens carefully to the perspectives of the family member with whom he or she is at odds, and is quick to forgive. They talk things out without attacking each other personally, while still addressing the issues. Each person knows the other cares about the relationship, even though they clashed on a particular issue.

Parents are also willing to heal any wounds they may have caused, that includes being willing to apologize.

7. They do not leave God out of their 

When God is involved in any family, the family will be strong. If you should do a statistic of families that are striving and healthy you will find that each of these families have a strong spiritual background. This is because when family members learn to love God and follow the principles of the Bible, they will grow strong together and respect each other.

Being committed to God’s way of life gives families a sense of purpose and adds meaning to their lives. They have a reason to work at their relationships and are more likely to stay together. They are able to put trials and difficulties into perspective and maintain the right focus. God’s Word provides guidelines for living, which will help families create a positive home life.

Parents must lead this as children will follow the footsteps of their parents. For example, if you study your Bible and pray regular and let your children sees this, they will be more likely to do the same, especially if sons sees their fathers reading their Bibles and praying regularly, they also will want to have a relationship with God.

It is very important for you to understand that each of these qualities overlap with each other. For example, regular communication will help each family member to feel valued and appreciated. When you are committed to making a relationship work, you will see the need to forgive and resolve conflicts.

But it must be noted that no family is perfect, each have their faults and each member have to understand their individual roles and want they take to the take. Each member also have to work on their own self. No human being will be a perfect parent, spouse, son, daughter or sibling. If your family lack any of these qualities do not despair. What matters most is that you are striving to have good family relationships. Understanding the traits of healthy families is the first small step.

What is your take away from this article? What do you see in your own family that is working and not working? What is hindering the growth of your own family?

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Eston Swaby is the Founder of www.biblewaymag.com He writes on various topics at BibleWayMag and sees his ministry as bringing people to Christ through any means available. Check out his latest book An Empowered Life which is now available on Amazon. Or visit www.estonswaby.com/books for more information

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