October 18, 2023

A Healthy Family

Written by Boyd Bailey

A healthy marriage next to Jesus is the best gift to give your children.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 18, 2023

How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways…Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, and your children like olive plants around your table. Psalm 128: 1, 3, NASB

What do I mean by a healthy family? Certainly not perfect or even close to perfect, but more like a beautiful garden with an assortment of flowers, bushes, vines, and trees with butterflies fluttering from flower to flower, birds singing, and bees buzzing. A neglected garden loses its life and luster, while one that is daily nurtured flourishes. My wife Rita and I admire our neighbors who, for 40-plus years, have almost daily done the next right thing in caring for their lawn and an array of foliage, floral varietals, shrubbery, undergrowth, and trees with two steamy, luscious greenhouses. An outside cornucopia of natural beauty that invites you inside their warm, hospitable home. Our modest abode is many years behind, but we aspire to our neighbor’s fruit. Healthy families, like thriving natural beauty, require intentional prayer, preparation, and care. 

Parents who model helpful habits are a must for a healthy family. Habits that are as much caught as taught. Prayer is a good example; there is no better way to engage your family than to pray together. Ask your child for prayer needs, and then pray out loud for one another. Have individual prayers but also pray meaningful prayers together and share praises for answered prayers. Using our garden analogy, our neighbor has been generous to allow Rita to shadow her in the caring of her plants while giving helpful instruction along the way. Her enthusiasm and expertise have been an infectious gift. Parents who model helpful habits inspire a healthy family.  

Rita has also learned that some flowers thrive in certain environments while others struggle or die. Geraniums come alive in an outdoor, more natural setting, while Peace Lilies require more of an indoor controlled environment. It is a helpful illustration of loving each child equally but caring for each one uniquely. If every child is forced into the same box, feelings of rejection and hurt can fester, but when children are invited to be who the Lord has made them to be, they thrive in being themselves. Children with the right brain skills of creativity, art, and emotions need a creative environment to nurture their imagination. While a left-brain, more logical child may require more structure and opportunities to build and see results. Sports are a nurturing environment to grow in discipline, teamwork, and endurance. Love each child equally, but allow them to grow and flourish uniquely. As your child feels known, they are freed to be themselves!

A healthy marriage next to Jesus is the best gift to give your children. A marriage with Jesus Christ as the focus, a relationship that’s vulnerable in community with other Christ followers, honest, humble, seeking to grow in emotional fitness, and always looking for ways to love and serve the other. Children can rest safe and secure when they know that mom and dad are committed to each other in the same way Christ is committed to them with unconditional love and generous forgiveness. Share with your children your own struggles as is age-appropriate, so they learn how to trust the Lord through difficulties and how to praise Him for His many blessings. A husband and wife growing in love with one another helps grow a healthy family. Like a garden, cultivate and care for your family’s hearts with authentic love and wisdom. 

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15, NIV).


Heavenly Father, help me cultivate and care for my family as you nurture me through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Consider writing a one-page mission and values on how your family can grow in healthy ways.

Related Reading

Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 3:7

Worship Resource

Drew and Ellie Holcomb: Feels Like Home


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