My wife and I found our life’s work in working with families like ours. We are doing this work in China. What we see may be relevant outside China, but I could not say with any authority.
Ministry to Families is So Slow
We work with families, but what that means is it starts with mothers. We work with 1st generation Christian or seeker mothers which ultimately impacts children and fathers.
These mothers are in deep need, and so come toward us. Their first thought is usually their children, and they have little for their husbands. They often have a grandmother who had some faith.
Ministry to Families-First Step is Critical
The first step is to help parents take responsibility for their kids behavior. What I mean is parents often think the neighbors kid is good but theirs is defective somehow.
If we can achieve this one change in just the mother, some light will come to a family. Surely only our God, and the hope He gives them drives them forward.
Why do they tend to think they got a bad kid? Human nature since the fall is that way. No one wants to say they are the problem.
Through the Bible, we know that God creates children, and he does not create trash. We know that parents are to love and train children, and it bears fruit. We know God has a great plan for each child, and parents are servants of God to love this child that ultimately belongs to God. Also, Mothers, coming out of darkness, doubt their child is valuable. This must be moved as well. The model of how we view our kids and spouse is certainly critical as is the emotional health of our kids.
Parents Change Then Kids Change
When parents start to take responsibility for their child’s violent or disrespectful behavior and further start to believe the child is valuable, children get better rapidly. Children desperately need this and often cannot get this.
It is another step to see that each child is a genius with the very image of God upon them. This helps a ton.
This change is so valuable for any child.
Children need fathers and mothers to love each other. This is harder and takes deeper faith to even touch, but mother’s innately know this and try to implement steps. Steps like seeing their husband better than seeing him as an ax murderer. That could lead to seeing he needs more respect and responsiblity and help.
Husbands also like to have emotionally healthy wives, and are usually clueless how to get there. We get women in touch with professional prayer resolution counselors and Emotionally Focused Therapy counselors to help them get forward. Our church has no overhead as is a house church, so the church can often put forward money to help them defray costs.
Change is Easier Said Then Done
When God thus transforms women, the men move. Men come to faith or at least start to help with the kids etc… Families thus are transformed. This process takes years and even a decade as the thoughts on this page are easy to write but super hard to implement.