This new year could be the year that things really change for the better at your house, but it will take a self-conscious plan to do so. Here’s my recommendation:

Find a family where you like the fruit that you see in the marriage and with the children and then begin to imitate it. Now this will require way more than theory on your part. Great families are not a matter of good luck or wishful thinking. So, allow me to suggest that when you find that family that you sit down with the husband and wife and ask some questions and take some notes. No, I mean really go to them and ask for help, direction and wisdom. Ask them if you can return to them often (perhaps quarterly). Ask them if they would be willing to mentor you, which will include not only offering you some encouragement and instruction, but also ask them if they would be willing to hurt your feelings from time-to-time. In other words, would they tell you the truth about what they’re seeing in your marriage and in your childrearing? In the Bible, fools know it all, or at least they can’t be taught anything. Wisdom begins with humility. Here are ten questions you might start with:

  1. You and your spouse have an obvious love and affection for one another. What do you owe that to and what would you recommend to other couples who want that for their relationship?
  2. What habits does your household have that contribute to your healthy family?
  3. What role does the church play in the life of your family?
  4. How do you resolve conflicts in your family?
  5. How do you inculcate your family values into your children?
  6. What do you require of your children (attitude and behavior)?
  7. How do you discipline your children?
  8. What have been the biggest positive influences on you and your family?
  9. What are some of the biggest threats to families?
  10. What am I not asking that I should be asking?

Now if you think my recommendation is a good idea, then find a family and make that appointment to talk…today.