The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations." Isaiah 61:1-4
- Pursue a grace-based approach to family life and education, rather than legalism or autocratic control. You can sour your own family's story by being prickly, self-righteous, and overly concerned about outward appearances. Read: Mothering by Faith and Grace
- Let your children be unique individuals. Each one has their own story. They are not merely extensions of you or part of the family herd. Each one deserves dignity and respect because they are created in God's image and he has called us to nurture them. Don't try to force them in to your cookie cutter.
- Be careful with your family's stories. Your spouse and children are vulnerable because you know them so well behind the scenes. Use discretion when talking to other people about your struggles. And be very careful what you bring up again to your spouse or child who has shared sensitive information with you. You will severely damage their trust if you use what they have entrusted to you against them in an improper manner.
- Teach your children about their right to speak up if anyone is molesting or mistreating them. They don't need to give in to fear or accusations that they are tattling. (Listen to this powerful podcast by a home school mom about the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and the healing that came much later. Though this has not been my personal experience, this podcast really ministered to me when I listened to it again the other day.)
- If there are problems in your marriage and parenting, you must face them squarely and persevere through the difficulties. Read Child Discipline or Child Abuse? and Help for Hurting Marriages.