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Victoria Osteen - Keep Healthy Family Connections

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Victoria Osteen - Keep Healthy Family Connections

Yes, thank you, Lord. You may be seated. I just want to encourage all of us today to keep healthy connections with our families. You know, going forward in 2017, we need to make sure that we're making a personal investment into our family members, that we're building strong bonds, and we're creating trust and security in our families. It's so easy in this culture, with everything that we have to do and all the technology that we have to get things done more quickly, we have to make sure that we don't just breeze by one another and not make personal connections. There's so much to do. There's so many people to see. It's up to us to make the choices and priorities to connect with those that we love.

You know, Joel and I have to make it a priority to spend personal quality time together. Now, Joel and I are together a lot. We work together. I'm not talking about coexisting in a home. I'm not talking about working in a task together. I'm talking about making investments in the life of people that you love, making personal time to find out what they like, to be a part of what they like, to enjoy their gifts, enjoy their talents. You know, Joel and i, we love to take walks together. We love to ride our bikes. We'll go on a date night every now and then.

Sometimes, we just get in the car and we drive nowhere. But these are times that we have created to just be together, not to talk about work, not to necessarily talk about a problem or an issue that we're facing, but to just be together. Maybe not even talk at all, maybe just connecting in the presence of the moment. You see, we've got to take the time and set the priorities and standards in our life to connect with those we love. You see, if Joel and I just work all the time, if we're together, but we're just existing and working and under the load of life, we're not going to mature and nurture our relationship that's going to flourish, that's going to stay connected.

See, we've got to join our hearts together and build bridges on those things that we connect with on a personal basis. You see, I know what to expect from Joel because I've spent time, quality time, connecting with him. He knows what to expect from me. We know what we think. I know when to leave him alone. I know when he wants to sit in his big chair and watch "Wheel of fortune". I know the things he likes to do to unplug. And those aren't the times I go in with all of the things that I want to talk about.

You see, I've learned him. So, when I have an intimate and personal relationship with him, knowing what he likes, what he dislikes, what I expect of him, what he expects of me, those boundaries that we like to set in our life, when I know this things I can work with him better. When you've created something, not just done life together, not just doing life together, but creating a life together, that's when things will change in your life.

See, I believe it's the same way with our children. We can't always be on the job, raising our children. We've got to enjoy our children. We need to learn to communicate with our children, see their gifts and talents, enjoy their individuality, experience their ideas. You see, we've got to get to a personal relationship with our children. We've got to create a connection so that our connection will grow and flourish through the years. I enjoy my children as much today as I did when they were little, when they used to say the cutest things and do the craziest things. You see, I enjoy them as adults in college right now. In fact, I learn from them. I enjoy them. I allow them to have their ideas.

Now, I want to tell you, sometimes time seems so short. And we only get a certain time with our children, so we fall into this trap of making these moments a lesson in life, a teaching moment. You're spending time with your child, and you can see maybe something that could happen, or something that you've experienced and you want to insert this life lesson. I can tell you I am so guilty of that. I am, like, super guilty of that. But I've learned. And you know, my children have helped me learn this, that not every moment has to be a teaching moment. Yes, we want to teach our children, we want to train our children, but we also want to enjoy our children. We want to develop a relationship with them. We want to connect with them so we have opportunity in the future.

Now, you may have, you know, children that are out of your house. That's okay, you can still connect with your children. See, it takes work to form good relationships. They don't just happen. They must be created. We have to sacrifice our personal time to have quality time with those we love. It takes a commitment, it takes an availability. See, if we're going to build strong families and strong relationships, we're going to have to do our part. You know, sharing meals together is a great way to spend quality time. Maybe dinner doesn't work, there's soccer practice. Maybe you've got commitments. But can you share breakfast? Can you share lunch? Can you have conversation over a snack?

You see, study after study has proven that when you take time to build relationship over a meal, that your children are less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, that creating this atmosphere over a meal four to five times a week, or as often as you can, it builds such a bond of trust, and so much self-esteem and character, that they're less likely to go off and allow their peers to direct their life, because you've made an investment in their life. I believe it's our responsibility, and it's well worth the time and effort to enjoy our family as a whole.

You know, this isn't just a quick fix. This is a long-term investment. See, what you plant now, you're going to reap later. You're going to enjoy the benefits of your family. It's well worth it. And single parents, can I tell you that you're more than enough? God and you are a majority. There's nothing that God won't help you with. As you share with your family, as you make some sacrifices even though it's tough, maybe your children are out of the house. I encourage you to call them up on the phone, invite them over for dinner. Meet them at a restaurant, not to tell them what they're doing wrong, not to tell them what they can do better, but just to tell them that you're proud of them, to tell them how great they are.

You see, sometimes we want to mold our family members into the shape that we want them to be. We want to fix all their problems. But I'm telling you right now, we can't fix their problems, only God can. All we can do is love them, show unconditional love, spend quality time, and make personal investments. Just take time to have fun with your family. Maybe you want to go to the movies, play some games. Whatever you do, just make sure that you're laughing, that you're having fun, that life is not so serious and such a struggle that you forget the joys of life, making memories in laughing.

You know, laughter is a medicine. The Bible talks about a merry heart is like a medicine. I'm telling you, it will fix a lot of things. I was reading in the Bible about Sarah and Abraham, and many of you know this story. God had made a promise to Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child. And years and years had passed, and they had struggled through life. I'm sure it was weary. I'm sure from some of the mistakes they had made, they were burdened down. One day, God showed up at Abraham's tent, and he said, "Abraham, this time next year, you're going to have this son". And you know what Abraham did? Abraham laughed.

Now, the Bible doesn't tell us why he laughed, but you know why I believe he laughed? I believe he laughed because he needed a stress reliever. He needed to say, "Oh God, okay". You know, the Bible talks about, you know, when you look into your future you have to be able to laugh. You have to be able to trust God with your future, laugh at those things to come. Laughter helps. When Sarah heard she was going to have a child, what she did, she let out a giggle herself. You see, that's stress reliever. But the great thing about it is that time next year, they had that son. They had that son.

I can't help to believe that laughter is a medicine. Laughter lightens the load. Listen, let there be laughter, let there be fun. Nothing is that serious that we can't create this atmosphere of laughter. See, we have to set our families up to win. And I believe when we take the necessary steps to build connections, we're placing value on our family. And when our family feels valued, when they feel loved, when you spend quality time, you know what it does? It builds respect. It builds character within the family. And again, when you face those challenges, you've got bridges to one another's heart. You've got each other, you're linked.

See, we all love to have the people in our life give us time and attention. We love to be taken care of. It just warms our heart. So, we have to remember if it's good for us, it's good for them. Listen, let's create unity in our home. The Bible says where there's unity, there's a commanded blessing. Every one of your family members can walk in blessing. You have got the power and ability to be the one who brings in the fun, who is the spice of life. Nothing is that serious. Create laughter, and know that where there is community, God has commanded the blessing.

I want to pray for your family right now. Lift your hand right now if you represent family, if you have a family, if you want God to intervene in your family. Because see, I think he sees your hands. And you may not be connected to some of those family members. You may be saying, "God, I want this connection. Can I have it back"? Well, can I tell you one of the greatest ways you can be connected is in prayer? You see, there's no distance in prayer.

You may not be able to be in the presence of that person that you want that connection with, but can I tell you this? God's in their presence. And if you're praying to God, God will do the work. Because see, if we pray and we don't give up, God will honor our prayer. God works by faith. He works by perseverance. So, know when you pray, the moment you pray, the tide of the battle is beginning to turn. God is on your side. He wants that unity in your home. I believe all we have to have is a willing heart. And when we're willing and obedient we'll eat the good of the land, amen?

Father, I thank you for every family represented here today, all those who are listening or viewing. Father, I thank you that we are committing our family afresh and anew to you, God. I thank you that we will build bridges and not walls. I thank you, Father, that we will make a sacrifice to spend quality time with our family. And Lord, you will give us ideas and resources and the time. Father, I thank you that we're going to look at our calendar, and we're going to say, "Is that really important"? And we're going to put our family on the calendar.

God, I thank you that you will, Father, draw our families together, that there is anything that hasn't been done or anything that's been in the past, Father, I thank you that you are covering those past mistakes, that you are covering that. And Father, we are moving forward with you. We're not walking in guilt or condemnation, but Father, we know with you, every day is a new beginning, that your mercies are fresh and new. And I thank you that you are blowing the mercy of your favor on our families right now. Father, I thank you that we will love our families. We won't try to shape them into people that look like us, but Father, we will enjoy who they are as individuals. We will learn from them and grow from them.

Father, I thank you that when we're tempted, Father, to say the wrong thing, that you'll just zip up our lips and allow us, Father, to just breathe, to just take time, to know there's always time for correction, there's always time to get our message in there. But Father, that we will create times of memories, strong connections for the future. That Father God, you will do this for us, you will help us as we look to you. Thank you for blessing our family members. We see unity in our family. Whether it's there or not, we're looking through our eyes of faith. And we see our family united and strong, walking in the commanded blessing, in Jesus' name.

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