4 Secrets to Strengthen Your Family
By Drenda Keesee
“Mothers have the ability to liberate by love or, by neglect, to imprison. They’re our first teachers; they are our first loves.”
—Dr. Maya Angelou
I love this quote!
I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good parent. Keep in mind there are no perfect parents, but there are a million little ways to be a good one!
Good parenting is all about living with intention.
Being “busy” isn’t the same as being “effective.” The Bible consistently tells us to focus on living for today.
Whatever you do, do it intentionally. It doesn’t matter if you work full-time or you are there from sunup to sundown, or if you are a veteran, who is overseas much of the time. If you are truly there when you are there, that’s what counts!
Living distracted is a surefire way to unhappiness, but living an intentional life is the way to a happy life.
I want to give you a few tips that have helped me make the most of my time as a parent!
In culture, there are so many distractions, opinions, offenses, and debates. It’s exhausting!
Mothers today are bombarded with worry and criticism, and it can be easy to start doubting:
Am I choosing the right school?
Am I doing enough to further their faith?
Am I buying and preparing the right foods? Organic? GMO? Gluten-free?
Stop! Read these words carefully, so they sink in:
You. Are. Enough.
You are doing a great job!
Don’t let other things like approval seeking or people-pleasing stand between your family and its purpose.
Tune out the voices and demands of the culture, and tune into God’s voice. Go to His Word to seek clarity. His Word always produces returns! Get in His presence with any concerns about your children, and He will provide answers.
Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
The enemy uses distraction to get us away from the truth and knock us off our purpose.
Don’t let that happen! Your children are counting on you to give them security, and there is no real security apart from God! Amen?!
Knowing and Pursuing God’s Purpose for Your Family
Part of providing your children with security is knowing the vision. The vision should be the compass for all of the decisions you and your spouse make.
Gary and I raised our children to know God, to be secure in His love for them, and to have faith in His purpose and assignment for their lives. Now, we made our share of mistakes, don’t get me wrong, but we always taught them that their security, their identities are safe in Christ.
Here’s my YouTube teaching on How to Build Your Life and Family Right!
The culture is raising scared kids—kids who don’t believe there is a purpose for them, kids who feel lost and hopeless and angry because they are getting all kinds of false messages.
I want to encourage you to get clear on God’s vision for your family, so you can truly enjoy each step along the way.
You can’t be present in the moment unless you are trusting the outcome.
Trust God. Allow the Holy Spirit to move spontaneously through your day, and you will see amazing results!
Never Passing Up an Opportunity to Laugh
I have so many amazing memories of sitting around the table and just laughing with my kids. I mean sides hurting, tears streaming down cheeks—mascara-stained tears/please don’t post that picture on Instagram—laughing.
Laughter covers a myriad of problems. Did you know when you laugh, it releases endorphins in your brain? That’s the feel-good chemical!
There was one night my kids and I, who are all grown now, started talking about what we had learned over the years, and we just laughed and laughed! I went to bed feeling so happy.
God is so good!
Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
So today, put down your list of to-dos or expectations for the perfect framable photo and let go! Show your children your silly side. I guarantee your family will experience amazing joy and, hopefully, some belly laughter of your own!
Never miss the chance to enjoy those moments; they are memories in the making.
Being an Example
You can preach to your children every day about what they should or shouldn’t do, but…
the greatest influence on your children’s lives won’t be what they hear you SAY—it will be what they see you DO!
Parents, I just want to encourage you to build your family right by being an example.
If we want our children to have a relationship with God that extends beyond church on Sunday, then we need to model a relationship with God that extends beyond Sunday in our lives.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to be a perfect parent. Your children can learn from your mistakes as well! If you lost your temper, take accountability.
Admitting that you are imperfect is a good thing: it’s an opportunity to show your children that we all need God’s grace.
There are always going to be tough seasons as parents. I want you to know I am praying for you, and God is more powerful than any circumstance!
Leave the mistakes in the past, where they belong.
Be present today and every day.
Be the example of joy to those around you.
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.