by Rick Warren — July 27, 2022
From Awesome Relationships
“Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Luke 2:52 (NIV)
Awesome families encourage growth.
How? They create an atmosphere of lifelong learning. They help each other develop. They encourage the discovery of each person’s spiritual gifts and abilities. They allow people to learn new things and develop new interests.
But you don’t necessarily need a biological family to help you grow. Your church family can—and should—be a force for growth in your life.
There are some things that you’re never going to learn if you don’t learn them in relationship with others. You can’t learn them at school. You can’t learn them at work. You only can learn them with other people.
You need community.
In fact, most of your problems as an adult come from the fact that you didn’t learn certain things correctly as a child. Here are five things you must learn in your family—whether biological or otherwise:
1. You learn what to do with feelings. In a healthy family, you learn how to identify, own up to, express, and deal with your feelings. Awesome families should let everyone be honest and let kids express their emotions too.
2. You learn how to handle conflict. Kids need to see their parents working problems out in front of them and dealing with differences in a healthy way.
3. You learn how to handle loss. You don’t want your kids to win all the time. If they do, they’ll find it devastating when they face inevitable losses as adults in the real world. They need to learn that failure won’t destroy them, that a loss isn’t the end of life.
4. You learn which values matter most. It’s important to teach kids the three basic temptations of life so they are not swayed by what the world values. Those temptations have to do with how you feel, what you do, and what you get in life—in other words, sex, salary, and status.
5. You learn good habits. Habits determine your character. Families should help each other grow so that everyone’s character is more like Jesus Christ.
Start to make changes today so that your family—whether it’s biological, adoptive, or spiritual—is a safe place for everyone to learn and grow.