Growing a Spiritually Strong Family by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
“Being married and raising a family are not for the faint of heart. The journey is long and demanding. Yet we as parents know that what we are doing day after day has meaning far beyond these few years we have with our children.” – Dennis & Barbara Rainey
If your desire is to raise a spiritually strong family for the Lord, then you may be interested in reading the book, “Growing a Spiritually Strong Family” by Dennis and Barbra Rainey. There are ten sound biblical principles that are found in this little 4×6 book. Growing spiritually is a lifelong endeavor; but if you apply these sound biblical principles, you’ll discover the spiritual vitality that you are looking for.
Sink Your Roots
The first principle for a spiritually strong family is for the parents to have a strong root system. That strong root system of course comes through the Word of God.
Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
Pray with your Mate
Dennis &Barbara Rainey took the advice of Carl Wilson who had been married for 25 years, and was obviously a happy husband and father. He advised them: pray every day with your mate. They have found out that nothing has built their marriage more than their prayer time together. Remember that the enemy of your souls will do everything he can to stop a husband and wife from this powerful life changing discipline of praying with your mate.
Give your children you
Parenting takes time. We must carefully consider how we spend our time and whether or not we are available to our children. The Rainey’s advice is simple and summarized by three T’s.
“Time, Touch, and Talk. These three T’s make a relationship with our children a reality.”
This principle challenges us to be feasting on the Word of God daily and encouraging our children to do the same.
“If you want a spiritually healthy family, you must make sure that each member consumes a healthy diet of the everlasting Word of God. During the next 24 hours, watch for opportunities to present Scripture to your children. See who can come up with the most examples — you or your spouse!” says, Dennis Rainey.
Set the Course
Dennis and Barbara challenge us as the Captain and first mate of our family “boat”, to take the time to chart a course that leads to genuine spiritual growth. Take the time to pray and depend upon God to hammer out your family’s spiritual values and then write them down. Don’t forget to review your spiritual priorities often. It will take effort to keep them in focus, but it will be worth it all. The reality is that we have the awesome responsibility and privilege to train the next generation for Jesus Christ.
Romance your Mate
One of the things talked about in this chapter is to study your spouse. This included making a list of those actions that truly please one another. What a great way to be thinking on all the positive character traits of your mate instead of dwelling on the negative ones as Satan would have us do.
Another challenge would be to date your Mate and to get away for the weekend. It is very clear that raising a spiritually strong family is directly related to a husband and wife team that is growing together in their love and romance for one another.
Train your Disciples
As parents, our major responsibility is to train our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We as parents are the ones who have the biggest impact on the lives our children because we spend the most time with them. Since we are on this assignment from God to effectively disciple our children, we must write down key objectives and review them every year. Effective training involves a plan and strategy, accountability and repetition. I like what a Green Beret once told the Rainey’s, “As a Green Berets, we train to learn what to do in every conceivable circumstance— over and over again. Then in times of battle we know what to do. It’s just second nature to us.”
Fight the Darkness
In this chapter, we are reminded to be alert to the fact that our enemy is a clever deceiver. He wants to destroy our families’ one decision at a time. If we want spiritually strong families we must do battle against the enemy within and the enemy without. Some ways to fight back would be to pray without ceasing. Don’t take temptation lightly. Guard you and your child’s heart; and as Dennis says, “Sink your teeth into God’s Word and don’t let go.”
Rest and Refresh
In this chapter, we are reminded to prepare our homes Saturday to be ready to attend church services on Sunday. After the services we should continue to worship God in our hearts and our homes with praise and worship. Sunday is to be a day of refreshing our souls, reestablishing relationships in our families, and creating a quiet atmosphere where we can deepen our spiritual roots to be more fruitful for Jesus Christ.
Keep your covenant
Our marriage is a covenant not only between husband and wife, but most importantly a covenant with God Almighty. The marriage covenant must be taken very seriously if you want to please God and have an environment where your family can flourish spiritually.
The Rainey’s stated that, “By keeping your marriage covenant holy, you will honor God, build a tower of relational strength and stability, and bring quiet joy and security to every member of your family.”
Enjoy the Joy!
One last reminder is to enjoy the journey of leading your family in a steadfast commitment to the Lord.
I have only touched the surface from each chapter, so I challenge you to buy this small but beneficial book. The Rainey’s have many practical examples of how to implement these principles into you and your family’s life.
To learn more about “Growing a Spiritually Strong Family”, you can purchase the Rainey’s book at: http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Spiritually-Strong-Family-First/dp/1576737780
Gina is happily married to Jim Hall who is the Director of Payroll at St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network in Bethlehem, PA. They have been members of the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church for over 30 years. They have 7 children & 5 grandchildren. The 3 oldest children are married. Two boys and two girls are at home. Our 2 girls came from the Wonderful country of China. We love all our children immensely and enjoy a very happy fulfilled home. Training her children in the ways of the Lord brings great delight!
Gina loves to read motivational and inspirational books. She finds them a tremendous source of spiritual and personal growth in her life.
Born in a Catholic home, Gina came to know the Lord at 25 years of age, through the witness of a member from the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church. You can read her testimony here on our church website.