8 Ways to Thrive (not die) with Family

This is from Tommy Nelson's ministry newsletter The Hub, formerly called Song of Solomon. His sermon series on the Song of Solomon was helpful in our marriage and definitely influenced my interpretation of the book. He is familiar with imperfect marriages and that results in imperfect families, even into adulthood. These words are helpful. Merry Christmas.

1. Take a deep breath – Is what your mother, brother, or sister-n-law said, or going to say really worth ruining the sweet time you have? I know that words are extremely powerful, but for many of us, we need to learn how to ‘give them less power.’

2. Watch your tongue – As you have heard and will hear many times, An OUNCE of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If most of us would just take a deep breath, relaxe ONE moment before we speak, we would either say less damaging things or when someone says something Potentially damaging to us, we choose not to react.

3. Stop thinking of the past all the time. This is huge in family. Whenever someone in our family makes a comment to us, we see it in light of the previous 20, 35, or 50 years. It’s time to forget some of that (I know it’s hard, but it’s necessary). A short memory can be quite helpful in these situations.

4. If your comment does not build someone up, then keep it to yourself. Many times in family, we think it is our job to ’share all the difficult stuff.’ You know what, unless you have an active, ongoing, close relationship with a family member, chances are ‘more critique’, or ‘less positive’ opinions should be shared by a person’s friend, not a family member.

5. Unsolicited advise is almost always received as criticism, not help.

6. We only have a few days together. Let’s be friends:) Friendships are positive. Let’s let our family times be positive.

7. Christmas is about Christ’s generosity of Spirit, not a spirit of negativity, stress, hurt, and history. If we will slow down enough to get the right perspective on our eyeballs, then He will give us what we need to make it much more enjoyable.

8. Don’t stay too long! Proverbs says,’Don’t stay too long in your brother’s house.’ That’s from the wisest man who ever lived. Amen.

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