Published here with permission from The MOORE REPORT INTERNATIONAL - November/December 2000

The Moore Foundation, Box 1, Camas, WA 98607

The Ingredients of a Great Family

by Dorothy N. Moore

The prosperity of the nation is determined by the quality of its families. Homeschoolers are doing their best to build the society and the nation by setting a goal of developing solid families. The first requirement of Christian families is to invite Christ as Master to be the Head of the home, living in harmony with the example that He set when He was here on earth. Ask Him to help you be the model of what you want your children to become -- physically, mentally and spiritually. Then try to start and end the day with the family worshiping God Who is the tightest glue to keep the family together.

One of Christ's most notable characteristics was His desire to bless others, His compassion on those who were hurting, and His going about doing good. We should encourage this quality in our families when someone needs support and help in keeping up, such as a handicapped person whether inside or outside the family. Prayer, empathy, moral support and a little time and attention can go a long way in reaching out to people who need it, especially our mates and children.

A strong family listens courteously when family members talk, not interrupting each other or being disrespectful. It also allows its members freedom to express true feelings -- whether joy or grief, pleasure or pain. A real family is loyal to each other, affirming and upholding one another. It supports and sticks together in hard times and laughs together in fun times. It's members never put others down, but helps any other who cannot keep up.

A great family puts time at home ahead of a three-car garage, a country club membership or an extra car, book, RV or TV. Remember that experiences with children pass very quickly. They grow up so-o-o-o fast. Many a parent looks back with regret on the opportunities they missed by being "too busy." Appreciate each child for his strengths and minimize his weaknesses, preferably 10 to 1.

When a new member is expected, be sure to involve the children in the process and in the responsibility for loving and caring for this special gift. This welds the family together. Be involved in the activities they enjoy whether they are in school or at home. Help them to be good friends - to cooperate instead of compete. Set aside a family night weekly with a reading circle, playing games, or doing something special together.

Know and practice the gold Rule, live by Bible principles even if you don't always see the blessings which accompany this kind of lifestyle. God gives us instructions for our own good, for He is love. After sin, God gave us work to do as a blessing. Help children to enjoy work by working with them most of the time. Follow Christ's model of education for your children -- the study of the Scriptures, study of nature useful work and life experiences.