In April I talked about the best part of homeschooling being family unity and how important it is to remember to love one another like the Bible says and not to forget that it includes those inside the four walls of our homes.
Our church recently finished a sermon series called “Stop Monkeying Around” which focused on do no evil, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. After some really silly and fun monkey song we used to introduce the sermons, it got me thinking about how important those basic concepts are for our families and how by following those concepts in our homes we can keep a “Family Team Spirit “.
I mean think about it, if your family isn’t a team what is the alternative?
I don’t believe the team concept happens automatically. You need to build that concept as early as possible. In fact the opposite is true. If you do not make it a focus and priority the devil will do everything he can to destroy our families. The Bible warns us of this, in John 10:10 “ 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.—1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
I have found there are some simple ideas that I believe have brought a more abundant life to our family. I like to call it a “team spirit attitude.” Today I will share them with you.
Speak no evil…..Pray together: we have all heard that the family that prays together stays together. An increased amount of unity in our family can happen if we pray together and it does not have to be a long one, a simple gathering together 5 min before you go to bed, or before you start your day at school or maybe even before daddy walks out the door to work. Whatever works for your family, you can make it happen.
Laugh together! Learn to laugh at mistakes and through the trials. I am sure you have at least one member of your family who can keep the whole family laughing. When we learn to take ourselves less seriously ,life becomes a lot easier.
Be careful what we speak-We have to be sure not to allow our children or ourselves to speak evil words or negative thoughts to and over each other. In our family the words stupid, hate, dumb or foolish are banned period!
There is a clip from one of our favorite movies “ Cheaper by the Dozen” that goes something like this… as an older sister tells her little brother “ Yes, there are days I want to kill you…… but there is not a day that goes by I would not kill FOR YOU!!”
Making your family more focused on the team spirit concept and a attitude that strives to honor God does not assure they will not have conflict but it can assist in a quick resolution. Hopefully without the lasting effects of hurt and bitterness to remain for years to come.
My children have been told more then once “ This is the only brothers/sister you will ever have so you need to get along.” As parents we have to guard ourselves from pitting the children against one another, by favoring one child over another. When you are with your kids, be with your kids and try to give each some time that they can have all of Mommy each week. It is equally important to be an encourager to all your kids. Let them know they are the single most important person in your life. I have a saying I tell my kids; for my only daughter I tell her “ You are my most favorite little girl in the whole wide world.” I can get away with that because she the only one. For my 2 boys I had to become more creative so I shook it up a bit and said “ You are my most favorite 8yr old in the whole wide world” (then just change it with each year they are old).
Hear/See no evil….Watch what goes in because it will come out! Have you ever heard the story of the frog in the pot of boiling water? Well the story goes something like this, the easiest way to cook a frog is not throwing it in a pot of hot water, but placing it in a pot of nice warm water then slowly turning up the heat until you cook it. In the same way we need to be aware of those so called innocent TV shows, dvds and movies we allow our children to watch/listen to. It has become the norm in our society for kids to talk back to their parents and be downright mean to their friends and siblings while it is all taken as socially acceptable.
If we allow our children to watch these shows or listen to music that promotes such things without guidance and direction we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
Do no evil: “honoring others??”
This concept was never so well played out as when we do service project together. When Katrina hit the gulf coast several years ago, our family collected several thousand pounds of food and several hundred dollars from our community. Then our family took off for a 14 hr trip to deliver the food to those in need. My kids still talk about that trip. One special memory we have is when we met a family at a hotel along the way who was taking refuge in there. Together we went and bought items that they had expressed a need for. We have regularly served at the local community food pantry and have often organized food drives in the community with the help of our homeschool group. Whatever your niche is I encourage you to find it and get your family involved. When we focus outside ourselves it bring us to a level of humility. Then we learn to put others first above ourselves.
Work on family projects together… 2 yrs ago we decided to tear the siding off our house and strip it down to the original wood siding . This required a ripping off the old siding, then going back around the house pulling out all the nails, then back all around the house to fill up the holes the nails left, then back around power washing the house to strip the old paint off the house, then back around to be painted with primer and again to paint the house. Together as a family we tackled this project assigning each family member a job.
No matter what the ages of your children are you can make them feel valuable by assigning them responsibilities around the house. Younger children can put away the silverware after the dishes are done or fold clothes.
I recently heard a radio talk show host talk about the importance of teens having a purpose in the family, because otherwise the children become self absorbed thinking they are self deserving of things rather then working for them. I don’t believe that concept just magically starts when they are teenagers. If you begin this concept at early ages it will be much easier than waiting till later.
At our house each child has responsibilities such as cleaning up the kitchen or living room, by about 10 yrs old each child is responsible for doing their own laundry.
I think these simple concepts of do no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil, are basics we as families should know and remember.