How to Have a Happy Home

9 09 2007

By Pastor Norman S. Lao 

Preached on September 9 2007 to the Living Rock Church  

“And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.” Genesis 7:7                 

Introduction 

Family is Great!  Here are some things some people say about family: 

“I don’t care how poor a man is, if he has a family, he is rich.” Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford 

“You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”  Desmond Tutu 

“An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.”  A Spanish Proverb 

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” George Moore 

“No success in public life can compensate for failure in the home.”  Benjamin Disraeli

I used the family of Noah for our text this morning for various reasons.  First, they were a complete family.  Second, they overcame a great crisis together as a family. Third, they stayed together as a family. Fourth, they were united in doing God’s work as a family.  Fifth, they were just like any other family we have today, imperfect yet with great possibilities.  Picture a happy family in your mind.  What does a happy family look like to you?  What words or pictures describe a happy family?  Laughter, peace, eating together, fun, going out together, eating out together, going to church together, doing things together, playing together… What is a happy family?  What makes a family happy?  I would like to point out the following Ingredients that make for a happy family.    

I.       God 

The MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT in making a happy family is GOD.  God started the Family, therefore, if a Family is to be happy, it must begin with God.  The Bible says, Noah was a Righteous Man – a man who was right with God.  God was an important part of his life. 

The first attack of Satan against man was not an attack to destroy his relationship with his wife (or vice versa).  His first attack was to destroy the relationship of man with God. The Devil understood that the happiness of the family had its source with God.   Satan was successful in separating Adam and Eve from God.  That’s the reason why there was so much heartache in their home after that (remember, Cain murdered his brother Abel?).   The Devil knows that the beginning of unhappiness is when families depart or move away from God. Jesus Christ came to bring man back to God and give families a chance to be happy again.  So, a happy family or a happy home is where 

  1. God is the center.  Everything revolves around God. 
  2. Every member of the family has a personal relationship with God.  (John 1:12)
  3. They go to church together.
  4. They read and study the Bible together.
  5. The pray together.
  6. They sing to God together.
  7. They serve God together.  Just imagine a family where half of the members are serving God and the other half is serving the Devil!

II.     Forgiveness 

In some families, please is described as the magic word.  In our house, however, it was sorryMargaret Laurence 

Forgiveness is a recognition that no one is perfect, that everyone is bound to make mistakes.  So, a happy family is where forgiveness is extended.  Forgiveness means, “I am hurt, but let’s start over….”  It is acceptance.  Forgiveness means another chance.  In happy families there are no SECOND CHANCES, only chances!!!

Here are some rules on forgiveness: 

  1. When you are wrong ask forgiveness.  Learn to accept fault when you are at fault.
  2. When you are right extend forgiveness.
  3. Never abuse the forgiveness of your family.
  4. Do not prolong anger, extend forgiveness at the first sign of repentance.
  5. Do not keep a record of wrongs.  If you dam wrongs, a time will come when they break out and do more damage.
  6. Let the past remain in the past.  Do not raise the dead.  Forgive and Forget.  This means that what has been forgiven must not become an issue again.
  7. Mistakes, even when forgiven, have consequences.  Understand that forgiveness sometimes does not remove or erase consequences.   Sometimes, a father may forgive a son his fault, but he has to discipline him.

 III.   Appreciation 

Our God is a God of appreciation.  He appreciated creation.  He appreciates us when we are good.  Whether you know it or not, our family members crave appreciation.  To appreciate means to recognize the qualities of someone.  Here are some guidelines for appreciating your Family members: 

  1. Learn to give appreciation.  Some of us are embarrassed to give appreciation.  We need to practice.  People who are appreciated develop into the appreciation (just like people who are always criticized degenerate into the criticism).
  2. Appreciate little things and big things.  Appreciate thoughtfulness.  People who appreciate are thinking people.
  3. Verbalize your appreciation.
  4. Appreciate loudly (publicly), criticize silently (privately).
  5. Appreciate more, criticize less.
  6. Accept appreciation.

IV.       Respect

Respect means to esteem someone.   

Maybe the Golden Rule is the best principle to apply to the concept or idea of respect.  Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31.   

“Do to others what you want others to do to you.” (Positive)  “Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.” (negative) If we live by this rule in our homes, we will have better homes and happier families. 

1.  Respect People Older than You.  Before Cable TV, Cellphones, DVD, and Computers came along, our young people were very respectful young people.  I can still remember: (1) when passing through a door the old must pass first, (2) when getting food on the table, the old must get first, (3) when sitting, the old must sit first, (4) greetings when going in or out of the house, (5) when we go home we usually kiss the hand of our old folks, and (6) I think we are the only people who has a word for those who are older than us (Ilonggo: Manong, Manang, etc.) We need to bring back the practice of showing respect in our homes if we want to have happier families! 

2.  Respect family member’s Privacy.  Do not open letters, wallets, etc. without permission.

3. Respect family member’s Person.  Do not share family members’ secrets or personal information with other people.  There was a study where hundreds of couples were interviewed.  The study had one question: What thing your spouse did that you dislike the most?  The number one answer was: When my husband/wife shared my secrets with someone else.  Sometimes our children are embarrassed when we share their secrets, especially those who are already in their teens.  

 V.    Contribution 

Everyone in the family has to contribute to the welfare of the family if the family is to be a happy one. 

Some Rules on contribution:

  1. Money is not the only contribution.  Sometimes, simple cooperation is enough. 
  2. Give much, expect less.
  3. Contribute willingly, not grudgingly.  That’s one way of saying, “Contribute with a smile.”
  4. Contribute, don’t be selfish.
  5. Outgive others.
  6. Do not count your contribution.
  7. Do not count the contribution of others.

A Happy Family is where everyone is a contributor.   

Conclusion

It takes the whole family to make a happy family.  Do your part.   The happiness of your family is in your hands.  May the Lord grant you happiness as you live together as a Family.  God bless you.

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