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5 Practices of a Healthy Family

Healthy families raise healthy children who build healthy societies.

Families are America’s number one problem. They are also America’s number one solution.

For this reason, the family is the greatest mission field and evangelism tool the church has ever had since it is what shapes all societies on earth. As a family, we are responsible for raising children/disciples who will lead our society in every way. A person’s home environment has the greatest influence on him/her.

COVID-19 had many horrific effects on so many people and lives, but many people rediscovered the value and impact of family. Families across the nation spent so much time together, and it was profound for those who seized the opportunity. 

The same thing happened on social media, from both parents AND teenagers, “I’m actually enjoying this time off because we never spend so much time together.” I think many people felt the same way. Having ended the quarantine, how can we ensure that healthy rhythms remain part of our family’s lives for years to come?

Disclaimer: I do not have all this figured out, nor am I a perfect parent. However, I believe that starting somewhere is more significant than not acting.

Here are a few ways you can make your family healthier:

1. Healthy Marriages and Parenting

Parents demonstrate honor, respect, communication, and authority in a healthy home. A healthy marriage and parenting relationship will lead to a healthy family. Whether your biological parents are present in your home, a blended home, or even a single-parent home, there is no default home in America. This is because our families are quite diverse.

A healthy family is a matter of parental leadership and authority. No matter your family dynamics, the number one influence on a child is that nurturing, caring role. Create environments that model and facilitate open and honest dialogue, where the child can see and hear that no matter what the topic is, you will still show love and respect to one another. Create a loving and accepting space where your children will want to run home!

2. The Family Table

Creating a meal together creates magic. The conversations around the table will transform the dynamic of your family. This is the place where everyone finds out how everyone is doing. Some of the most memorable and powerful times will take place around the table when the family converses together, building relationships, identity, and trust. We live in a fast-paced society, so if you can include even one meal a week for your family, it will have a huge impact.

The following questions will help you start a conversation:

  • What was your favorite (or worst) part of the day?
  • What are your plans for this evening or this weekend?
  • How are your classes? Sports teams? Work?
  • Who is your best friend right now, and why?
  • Is there anything you need from me that I don’t provide for you?
  • What has God shown you lately?
  • I want to know what you plan to do with your life in the future.

3. Sibling Relationships

Over the last 25 years, our family has lost the sibling relationship. My brother is quite a bit older than me, but I remember growing up with him and his influence on me.

We are not just raising a fatherless or motherless generation anymore. We are raising a generation without siblings now. Siblings have a special way of impacting our lives through conversation, accountability, and understanding. You can help your family build healthy relationships with each other by setting up family meetings, having family game nights, having siblings pick each other up from events, and helping with homework.

4. Family Fun

When is the last time you had a family vacation? Everyone could use more memories, laughter, and education. Family vacations can create all of these things.

The inspiration from having fun as a family can also occur with movie nights, board games, and yard games that cost very little or nothing. Having fun together as a family is sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do together! Maybe you should try a stay-cation in your area for the weekend, or maybe even a day-cation where you go to a museum or park for the day. Or maybe a road trip! You might grab the family every Saturday morning and go get donuts!

Be sure to include some FUN in whatever you do! 

5. Community Involvement

Engaging in community involvement can be an excellent way to educate your family at home and build positive character. Maybe you volunteer at a nonprofit for a couple of hours per month. Or maybe you volunteer in a shelter or a food kitchen where the homeless are served. A family can be involved in the community in a variety of ways.

We make homemade Christmas cards for a senior care facility. We call ahead a couple of weeks before Christmas to ask if the kids can spend 30 minutes talking to some of the residents. Then we hand over the cards.

Because our children are already involved in church events, sports teams, fine arts programs, and clubs, they are easy to attend.

Get involved with your church and find out how you can serve together. Perhaps you can greet or do a neighborhood or community outreach together.


Maybe you feel overwhelmed, unqualified, or guilty right now. But I think it’s helpful for all of us, to take the time to create new patterns in our homes. Very little happens by accident; it takes intentionality and effort. The kids don’t care about perfection. They just want to play with their parents. They just want to eat together. They just wish for their parents to be there. You can create a healthy family, church, and nation by practicing these five disciplines.

Healthy families raise healthy children who build healthy societies.