Do you express and acknowledge love in your family? Do you teach and instruct with an even-handed approach? Do you instill hope in your children, or is your family ruled by fear? The West Angeles Counseling Center shares that developing a strong family starts with the right spirit.
“God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, love and, self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT.)
Sometimes in our family dynamic, our actions may feed and encourage fear instead of love. In the scripture above, fear comes before power, love, and self-discipline, which can block us from achieving a Christ-like spirit.
THE POWER OF FEAR
When fear is present in a relationship, it can take away our power, or it can be used as a weapon to take someone else’s. Our fears come from insecurities in our lives that we bring from childhood or from previous relationships into our families. If we are not aware of how our fears affect us, then they can feed the wrong spirit. This can affect our ability to:
- Be able to be trusted.
- Discipline our children in a fair manner.
- Love one another as Christ loves us.
In a relationship, arguments are often driven by our insecurities as we try to protect our fears and shame, but having these feelings is not God’s plan for us. They are the result of events and situations that have happened in the past, but we always have the power and self-discipline to overcome them. Those situations can never rule us unless we allow them to.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY COMMUNICATION
Unhealthy communication is an issue in families because of the presence of anger. We are instructed that love is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:5), and this is one of the core principles that Christ came to teach us. So, if we argue a lot or struggle with anger, then this blocks us from sharing and receiving love. Communicating feelings without blaming others, or addressing and alleviating personal stress in our lives can help a family to communicate and grow with a spirit of love, as opposed to being repressed by fear.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER DISCIPLINE
When you discipline your children, do you only focus on instilling fear in the child, or teaching the child that there are consequences to their actions? For example, if we only instruct our children to not touch the stove without teaching them why then we are inadvertently instilling fear in them. A person develops self-discipline in their lives when they are free to think through experiences in their lives which help them measure the consequences of their actions. A child who is taught that touching the stove will lead to a burn is more likely to not do it, and in the future, they will make better decisions because their parents did their best to not allow fear to govern how they disciplined their child.
Challenging ourselves to embrace a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline as a husband, wife, father, or mother can aid in achieving the family harmony that Christ desires. The family we desire is in our spirit because God has blessed us with it.
West Angeles Church of God In Christ invites you to live a fuller life today and every day, but remember: “life happens” to all of us. The West Angeles Counseling Center provides support and services to the greater Los Angeles area. and you do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.