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Traits of a Successful Family A.“Good Families are good for the same reasons.” B.Helpful to compare ourselves C.Social Scientist - Stinnet D.Family studies are important 1. Look at five spiritual criteria 2. Stinnet’s findings/Bible Five Spiritual Criteria I. Does it Endure? MT 19:6 Barbara Dafoe Whitehead -- Atlanta Monthly: “Divorce may benefit the adults involved, but the dissolution of intact two-parent families is harmful to large numbers of children. If current trends continue less than half of all children born today will live continuously with their own father or mother throughout childhood. Children from disrupted families have a harder time achieving intimacy in a relationship, forming a stable marriage, or even holding a steady job. Contrary to popular belief, many children do not bounce back after divorce and remarriage. Difficulties associated with the family breakup often persist 20, 30, even 40 years into their adulthood.” Five Spiritual Criteria • Does it Nurture? I Cor 8: 1 • Does it produce Good Children? Gen 18:19, I Tim 3 • Does it Contribute to the Community? Gal 6:10, Acts 20:35 • Does it Glorify God? Rm 15: 6 If a family has these good EFFECTS, then it pleases God. • What are the CAUSES? What makes for a strong family? Stinnet: Six Characteristics I. COMMITMENT between husband and wife - Loyalty. A. Do you expect life time commitment? B. What is there that shows their attitude toward prior commitments? 1. Have they kept commitment to Christ? 2. The basis of great confidence in marriage has to do with the character of the person you marry. Stinnet: Six Characteristics II. SHOW APPRECIATION Prov 31:26 A. Show Respect and love 1. Ratio of pleasing/unpleasing acts 2. Criticism kept to a minimum B. They say it and act it! Eccl 9:9 1. “This is my wife…” 2. They feel a sense of ownership... *C. Respect privacy - Key indicator Stinnet: Six Characteristics III. GOOD COMMUNICATION PATTERNS Males and Females often misunderstand each other due to “meta-communication.” Example: What she heard versus What he said. What she heard: You don’t expect me to take care of the kids, clean the house, and make dinner, do you? What he said… Feeling any better honey? Communicate to avoid the wrong expectations . . . Stinnet: Characteristics of Successful Families III. GOOD COMMUNICATION PATTERNS A. Compliment each other (Demonstrative..) B. Negatives are minimized. (Avoid sarcastic put downs) C. Able to accept compliments graciously D. They continue talking….like dating.. Stinnet: Six Characteristics E. Four levels of Communication: 1. Cliché 2. Reporting 3. Ideas & Judgements *4 Feelings F. Parent child communication is two sided. Heb 5:14, Deut 6:7 Stinnet: Six Characteristics IV. SPEND TIME TOGETHER A. Kids spell love--TIME! 1. Quality & Quantity 2. Psy. “Journey of Happiness” B. Big mistake--neglect! Plan/schedule time/close-knit feeling! C. Choose family over career Stinnet: Six Characteristics V. STRONG VALUE SYSTEM A. Opted for traditional values-clearly defined roles. 1. Communicated and shared. 2. Divergent values difficult 3. Conflict over children? Traits of Winning Families B. Strong families are aware they function as role models. Gen 5:22 “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters . . and Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him.” 1. May indicate becoming a parent caused him to begin his walk with God. 2. Research indicates becoming a parent results in a 17% shift to the right. C. We need God-centered families! Stinnet: Six Characteristics VI. ABILITY TO DEAL POSITIVELY WITH CRISIS. A. Support/loyal to each other/trouble B. Study--10 yrs. later--all had a tragedy of some sort. C. Strong families rely on the resources of each member to heal and build together. Conclusion Studied the Good Effects (Results). We want a family that . . . endures . . . nurtures . . . produces good offspring . . contributes to the community . . . and glorifies God! Looked at the Six Causes - what produces these positive results: Commitment, appreciation, good communication, time, a strong value system, and an ability to hand together in a crisis. C. What are we going to do? IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME. . .