God created the family with Adam and Eve. He said it was good! I still think family is good! Every single family is different and each of them is flawed. When Adam and Eve decided to disobey their Heavenly Father, their sin affected us all. It would be wonderful if every mother was a loving one and every father was the spiritual head of the home leading his children to Christ. Unfortunately that is seldom the case in our world today.

Where are the Cleavers today?

When I was a child, the most idealistic family on TV was June and Ward Cleaver and their two boys, Wally and Beaver. I loved this show, not because their family was always good, but because when they failed, the parents forgave them and set them on the right path for another day. I would venture to say that when this show came out, many homes in America looked like the homes and families in Beaver’s town. Where have the Cleavers gone in American television today? Where are the two parent families who love each other and build each other up on television today? Parents like that are nowhere to be found in most sitcoms today, and sadly, they are few and far between in real American families.

How you grew up doesn’t have to define you.

Families today are praised for being very diverse, but divorce has riddled our society and children are the losers. The people that children should have been able to trust the most, their parents, cared more about their own needs than those of their children. Many families in our country do not have a father around or involved in his family. That is a very big hole in a boy’s life. How do they learn to be a good father with no example to follow? Girls with no father around are just as affected when trying to find a spouse who will love them and not leave them. Then there are the homes where both parents live with the children, but they are dependent on drugs or alcohol. Children are just in the way and have to raise themselves. If your family looks like any of these, how you grew up does not have to define you. You can break the cycle and have a family of your own some day that follows the pattern set up by our Heavenly Father.

So how do you break the cycle of putting yourself first and your family second?

I grew up in a family with an alcoholic father for the first decade of my life, but I didn’t let that define me. First, and most important of all, I gave my life to Jesus when I was in college. Then I made it my goal to marry a man who would put Christ first. I also desired to find a godly man who could share life with me without drinking alcohol. I didn’t want him to come from a family where his parents were divorced. That may be a little harder to find in today’s world, but in the 70’s there were still more families intact than divorced ones. I found such a man, not in a bar, but in a church. He is the spiritual head of our house. He loves and cherishes me. He has kept his vows and more. He is a dad who cares about his children, even when they are grown and out of the house. We love our family and they love us. That is the key, loving your children like God loves you.

The secret to having a Cleaver family.

Most of our families are not like the Cleavers, though some Christian families come pretty close to that standard. Do you know why? It is because Christ is the head of their life and family. The best thing you can do for your family is to have a personal relationship with Jesus and read His word for guidance. The next secret is to love your spouse like Christ loves you. You will give your children the best gift when they see that you and your spouse love each other. Finally, be a good example. If you don’t want your children to drink or use drugs, then don’t use them yourself. If you don’t want them to end up divorced one day and coming back home to stay with you, then don’t divorce your spouse or do anything to break your vows and cause them to want to divorce you. It is possible to have a family you love and who loves you and wants you to be around their future children. Put Jesus first in everything and He will show you what to do to make your family thrive and have good families of their own.