I met homeowners in Little Rock who are happy for me to cut up downed trees to carry away all I can for firewood. We agreed that it is good that I can help clear their yards from the tornado damage and at the same time benefit from the use of the wood. We love the wood heat of our wood-burning stove, so I am able to help others and help myself at the same time. I met one lady, a friend of one of the homeowners, who I learned in conversation had twelve children. I asked her what is the basis of success in raising twelve children? She and her husband have seven sons and 5 daughters. From her reply I derived five things: the Lord first, make sure love prevails, keep a first place for your spouse, provide family activities for the kids, and guide the children into learning to take responsibility. Restating what she had presented to me, I said, “So, you put the Lord first, each other, husband and wife next, and you are actively being parents to your children.” “Yes”, she replied, “and even in that, things do not always work out like you plan and desire.” As the conversation continued, she told of a son who had drug problems and problems with the law. But, in the midst of the things they encountered, their trust was in God. They did not bail him out of jail and she told how the young man had given his heart back to the Lord, and had received favor in the judicial system. She told how all the children going to college had paid their own way. What I heard was parents allowing children to grow up being responsible for their own actions and ways. They loved them and guided them and taught them. They did not coddle them in the error of their ways. It sounded like over all, this large family, through it all, was a successful, responsible, family, overcoming the obstacles they were encountering. The Lord, love, and live responsibly – a good maxim to live by, a good maxim by which to raise a family. She also related how they ought to get a pick up load of wood because their large family gets together from time to time, and a blazing fire in the large fire pit makes for good times with the family.
From Genesis to Revelation we see how God works with families. Through the sufferings of Jesus the blood covenant was established with God swearing by himself to bless those who believe on him, and their families. It was demonstrated by the blood over the doorposts as they came out of Egypt, and it was carried on to the day of Pentecost with the blessing to those who repent and are baptized in water and the Holy Spirit – “for the promise is unto you, and to your children” (Acts 2:38, 39; Hebrews 6:18). Because of Jesus, God will bless your family.