Family is a wonderful word that stirs up warm feelings in most people around the world. It is the first thing people think about when in danger and also when there is something good to share or celebrate. Family is the first thing in our thoughts after being away for school or work for a period. The truth is—after God—family is consistently the most significant group of people that makes us feel safe, secure, and warm. 

Family was God’s plan for the human race from the very beginning of time. It is the group from which we get our identity, our name, and our traditions. Family are the people we have a long-term relationship with, and, frequently, we feel the most comfortable with them. Family is almost always where we get the inner driving force that influences our goals and aspirations, and even our sense of well-being—who we really are or who we want to become.

Genesis 1:27, 28 describes the beginnings of the family like this: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’ ”

The Bible—the inspired literature that describes God’s conversation with human beings— shares in the first chapter of the first book that God created the family, emphasizing the high importance this basic unit in society has for God, and consequently should have for us. Despite God’s plan for the happiness of the family, we all know things have not always worked as well as they were supposed to.

In the face of disappointment and distress we are pleased to share that there is hope for today’s family. Left to the popular attitudes in our society of thinking about ourselves first, second, and always—what can I get, rather than what can I give—families will continue to experience anguish, depression, gloom, hopelessness, and misery. The hope is in taking another look at the principles God meant for people to follow so that their families could be what He created them to be.

The truth is that there are no perfect families because there are no perfect people. So when we talk about a family that feels connected, we are not talking about a family without any problems. Rather, we are describing a family that enjoys relatively high levels of satisfaction and stability among its members. A family that is connected in a healthy way—spouses, parents, and children—are intentional about managing conflict in a timely manner and are committed to being patient, kind, understanding, and forgiving. While this kind of commitment is not easy, it is worthwhile and will contribute to the happiness, health, and quality of life of every family who puts it into practice.

Every member of the family must be purposeful about getting along with each other in meaningful ways every day—listening to each other, practicing being patient with each other when doing the opposite is so much easier because it comes naturally.

These are the habits that, if practiced daily, build stronger and healthier families over the years and make the members of the family feel safe, cared for, and secure, making it so much easier to deal with the difficulties that will inevitably experienced by every family. Family specialists often say that the quality of a family depends on the quality of their communication.

The quality of your family life will have much to do with the quality of your communication. Families who speak with each other regularly and lovingly experience a level of closeness that families who rarely or unkindly communicate with each other can never achieve. It takes determination to build a great family. But anything that is worth doing is worth doing well. So, make the commitment to communicate well, and watch your family blossom and grow in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

-Adapted article from Hope for Today’s Families , Willie and Elaine Oliver, (2018), General Conference Family Ministries Directors