Building Healthy Families

While there are some healthy families, there are also many families that are dysfunctional. There is significant breakdown in the institution of the family. Children are alienated from their parents. There is rampant abuse in homes – neglect, physical, emotional, verbal and sexual. Statistics on divorce are high even within the church. If we look at the North American context, there are a number of high profile ministers who have been divorced – what does that say about marriage as a basic Christian covenant? In the home, we also see improper methods of discipline that are either too harsh or too lax. This results in children who are either fearful or are undisciplined and rebellious. We also see that fathers are absent from many of our homes.

Building healthy families involves keeping the first principle of family – a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). When a man gets married a new family unit is formed. Dependencies with previous family must be broken and past family relationships must be redefined. The extended family has its place, but it must not interfere with the new family unit. In-laws conflicts and problems can seriously impact a marriage. Husbands need to remember that their wife is not their mother.

Building healthy families involves having family devotions (Genesis 35:2-4). Husbands and wives need to pray and study the Scriptures together: ideally every day. It may be helpful to set aside a fixed time each day to ensure that devotions become a seasoned habit. The husband must initiate in this area.

Fathers should endeavor to lead their children (as they grow in understanding and maturity) to faith in Jesus Christ. With the children, you can set apart one day a week for devotions. You can use a child friendly devotional and you can even have the children lead in devotions if they are sufficiently mature to do so. You should also regularly encourage your children to pray and read the Word outside of family devotions. It is my conviction that fathers should ensure that their children go to church while they are in their parents’ house.

Building healthy families involves administering proper discipline. Discipline is more than punishment. It has to do with the shaping of a person’s character, behavior and attitudes (Proverbs 22:6). As fathers we need to model the qualities we want our children to have. We need to teach them life principles. Teach them how to manage money, how to remain sexually pure, to be more confident, to be leaders and other important things.

We need to get our children involved in character building activities such as scouts, girl guides, Sunday school, and youth group. Fathers, as leaders in the home, must take the initiative in this area. Discipline must not be left to the mothers alone. Discipline, where it is punishment, needs to be fair, decisive, consistent and firm. Not effectively disciplining your children will lead to spoilt, rebellious children that are a liability to society.

Building healthy families involves having quality family time. The challenge is that individuals in families can get so busy that there is little or no together time. This is made worse by media such as internet, television, cell phone and video games. Families should set aside a day in the week where the entire family can come together. That becomes your family day or night where no one plans any other activity.

Additionally, families can plan events – picnics, spending a night at a hotel, a trip and any other event that pulls the family together. Husbands and wives should have date nights. Leave the children with a family member and just go out and have a good time: keep those marriage flames burning. Fathers can take out each child individually so that they feel specially loved.

Building healthy families involves the husband loving his family. The husband is commanded to love his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). This kind of love is unconditional commitment to your spouse. Traditional marriage vows say, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.” That is a very serious commitment. Loving your wife requires you to be faithful in thought, speech and action. Further, love does not demand submission. Submission more readily flows when a husband loves his wife.

There are various ways that a husband can demonstrate love to his wife. He could pray for his wife and pray for love. Love is a fruit of the Spirit. If a husband is lacking in this area, he can ask God and He will abundantly supply. A husband can also demonstrate love by listening to and talking to his wife. When he listens, he needs to give his wife his undivided attention. A husband needs to spend quality time with his wife. He also expresses love by helping around the house and helping with the children. The husband should compliment his wife for how she looks and for the things that she does; he should show appreciation and not take his wife for granted. Another way of showing love is to hold his wife without the expectation of sex.

The husband must romance his wife (Song of Songs 1:9-11). There are several ways that this can be done. He can surprise her with gifts. He can take her for a walk along the beach while holding hands. He can give her a goodbye kiss whenever he or she leaves the house. Hopefully this will not be sacrilegious (tongue in cheek), but he can put his hand around his wife at church. He can write her a self-penned poem. If you lack inspiration just take a look at the Song of Solomon. Another way of romancing his wife is complimenting his wife publicly. Another little tip, the husband can look into his wife’s eyes and say “I love you,” those three little words that mean so much to every wife.

A father must love his children. We need to affirm and encourage our children. We should be supportive of their various activities. For example, if they are involved in sports, we should be there cheering them on. We need to catch our children doing good. It’s easy to see and find the faults in our children especially as they get older. However, in some instances, they do want to please us so commend them when they do something right. That will motivate them to do better. As the old adage goes, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

We need to know our children’s love language. Gary Chapman identifies five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, touch and acts of service. Every person has a primary love language – a way in which they feel special and loved. We must be available to our children; we cannot afford to be so busy that we don’t have time for them. We also need to be ready to listen without judging.

Building healthy families involves the man providing leadership in the home. Scripture teaches that the husband is the head of the home (Ephesians 5:23). This is a divine, unchanging order until Christ returns; this is not sexist, it is biblical. Leading in the home implies that the husband must ensure that the right decisions for the family are made. This would include decisions in the areas of finances, children’s education, moving, changing churches, and in other areas. These decisions must involve the wife (and in some cases, the children); the husband/father is a leader not a dictator.

Another implication is that the husband must ensure that the purpose of the family is being realized. What is it that God has specifically called his family to accomplish? Some families are specially called to pastoral ministry for example. The leading of the husband must facilitate the development/growth of his family – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. This means that the husband must be growing. Additionally, the husband must implement a system to solve problems and resolve conflict. Problems are inevitable in the best of families. Leading also implies that the husband must hear from God and be led by the Holy Spirit.

Building healthy families involves the proper handling of conflict. Conflicts are inevitable – every family, regardless of how good the relationship, experiences conflict. In dealing with conflict it is necessary to pray about the conflict. The Holy Spirit will give you the grace and compassion needed. The Holy Spirit will also give you a right perspective. Be willing to listen to your spouse or other family member; talk things through. Proverbs 15:1 says that a soft answer turns away wrath; in other words, it is best to speak softly and respond in a gentle way than respond in a harsh and angry way. Be willing to see the problem from the other person’s point of view. Your perspective may be wrong. In some instances, it may be necessary to get godly advice from a trusted friend. And of course, you need to apologize when you are at fault.

Building healthy families requires you to be emotionally healthy (Galatians 5:22, 23). Self-understanding is needed. We have to understand the way in which past experiences have shaped us. In some instances, we may have developed dysfunctional ways of relating to people. We also need to understand our personality type – strengths and weaknesses. For example, some people have a choleric personality. This personality is great for leading and taking initiative. Its downside includes anger and impatience.

Marriage should be a relationship between two whole people. Many people go into marriage expecting the other person to make them happy. They expect that person to meet their every emotional need. If you have low self-esteem before marriage, getting married is not likely to change that. The problems that we have before marriage will still be problems we have during marriage, which may inevitably lead to marital difficulties. Also, even in marriage, it is good to still have outside interests and friends since your spouse cannot meet every need that you have. To expect that is to place an unnecessary burden on your spouse.

Commercial Real Estate Appraisal

Commercial real estate appraisal is a combination of art and science. Knowledgeable appraisers gather and analyze data prior to making informed decisions about real estate value. The appraisal profession has developed a series of well-established analytical techniques; the cost approach, income approach and sales comparison approach. The most appropriate approaches depend upon the characteristics of the subject property.

The cost approach is considered most applicable for commercial real estate appraisals for relatively new properties and special-use properties. Commercial real estate appraisers are less likely to use the cost approach for older properties due to the difficulty of precisely calculating the amount of depreciation.

The income approach is considered most applicable for investment or income properties. Appraisers gather data regarding the actual income and expenses for the subject property, rental comparables, expense comparables, industry expense data, market occupancy, and rental market trends. The commercial real estate appraiser then estimates gross potential income, other income, effective gross income, operating expenses, and net operating income. Net operating income is converted into an indication of market value using a conversion factor termed the capitalization rate, using the following formula:

Market value = net operating income/capitalization rate. This process is termed direct capitalization.

The income approach can also be calculated using a discounted cash flow analysis. Revenue and expenses are estimated for a period of years and the resulting annual cash flows and gross proceeds from a projected sale of the property are discounted to a present value using a discount rate.

Commercial real estate appraisers also utilize the sales comparison approach to estimate market value. The sales comparison approach is often considered most comparable for owner-occupied properties. After obtaining data regarding similar properties that recently sold, the appraiser makes adjustments to generate an indication of market value for the subject property.

After considering each of the three approaches to appraisal and preparing an analysis for the approaches which are considered relevant, the appraiser reconciles the indications of value to a final value conclusion. The quality and quantity of data for each of the approaches is considered when reconciling to a final value conclusion.

O’Connor & Associates is the largest independent appraisal firm in the southwestern United States and has over 40 full-time staff members engaged full-time in valuation and market study assignments. Their expertise includes valuing commercial real estate, single-family, business personal property, business enterprise value, purchase price allocation for businesses, valuation for property tax assignments, partial interest valuation, estate tax valuation, expert witness testimony and valuation for condemnation. They have performed over 20,000 commercial real estate appraisals since 1988.

To obtain a quote or further information for a commercial real estate appraisal, contact either George Thomas or Craig Young at 713-686-9955 or fill out our online form.

The appraisal division of O’Connor & Associates is a national provider of investment real estate appraisal services including commercial real estate appraisals, comparable sales confirmation, comparable sales units of measure condemnation appraisals, due diligence, residential appraisals and investment hypotheses.

All commercial property types benefit from our appraisal services including nursing homes, discount stores, truck terminals, tennis clubs, supermarkets, country clubs, medical offices, mini-warehouses, restaurants, vacant lands, skating rinks, community shopping, centers, power centers, car wash facilities and service stations.

Healthy Relationship Tips – How to Build a Healthy Relationship

Decisions at the time of moving in together

There are a number of issues that couples need to work out at the time they begin living together. These can range from the very practical, such as who pays the rent and other living costs, to more complex ones, such as how much of the couple’s personal life to share with the parents of each partner.

Couples who do not plan these things in advance are at risk of running into conflict if they each make the assumption that the partner is going to cake responsibility for the issue, and in fact neither of them does so.

Similar problems arise when couples get married and have to make decisions about joint bank accounts or mortgages. The assumptions may be that they will carry on as their respective parents have done, but there may be serious differences of opinion about it, which they don’t even realize exist until the crisis occurs. It is much better to sort these things out in detailed discussions before the couple marries.

The family life-cycle

Each family goes through several stages in their development. These are sometimes known as the family life-cycle. The idea as it was first developed is based on the typical nuclear family of the mid-20th century, with a husband, wife and 2.4 children.

Of course not every couple or family goes through each stage, but it is a simple way of documenting the stage which a couple has reached, and can help to understand some of the stresses they are experiencing.

Stages In The Family Life-Cycle

The couple meet and form a relationship
The couple get engaged
The couple get married
They have their first child
The first child goes to school
The youngest child leaves school
The youngest child leaves home (empty nest)
Retirement of one or both partners
Death of one partner
This is of course a very limited and rather stylized account of the progress of a new relationship, and in about half of all cases the end stage is divorce rather than death. It takes no account of same-sex relationships, and the question of childless marriages, second marriages and non-marital cohabitation is not considered.

However, it remains a useful way of thinking about family relationships, and may help couples to understand some of the particular stresses which they encounter in their lives. One useful result of thinking in this way is that it helps one to recognize that each of the transitions in the family life-cycle brings decisions and adjustments that have to be made, and if the couple avoids making them, there may be problems for them and their children.

The influence of the family of origin

Many of the difficulties in relationships come from the expectations that the partners come with. Many of these, in turn, derive from their experiences in their families of origin. In some families, the father is the undoubted boss, and nothing happens without his agreement. In others, the mother has this leadership role. In yet others, there is no leadership pattern, and whoever shouts the loudest gets their way. When two people form a relationship, their ideas about what is right may be very different, and conflict may arise from the gap between expectations and reality.

Everyday problems such as financial pressures, sexual and emotional problems, issues of fidelity or the complications of second marriages can cause unbearable pressure on partnerships and family life. At My Relationship Advice [http://www.myrelationshipadvice.com], Michelle explains how to use proven techniques and success stories from her family and relationship therapy clinic to empower you to overcome difficulties in your close relationships. She helps you understand how conflict arises, how to defuse it, and how to negotiate a happier and positive outcome in building a strong and healthy relationship.