Great Families Don't Happen By Accident

By Sabrina Schlesinger

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Every spring I get an itch. It’s the “Let’s go look at homes for sale” itch and my husband “loves” it. (Insert sarcastic tone.) On one of these occasions, a beautiful home came up for sale at an unbelievable price. It was in the perfect location with all the right features and rooms we wanted. 

Upon entering the house, we soon discovered the reason for the “unbelievable price!” In the living was an enormous diagonal crack from floor to ceiling. Unbeknownst to the owners, their foundation had been built on something they called red dirt. The effects of building their house on the red dirt didn’t immediately come to light until a year or so later as the house began to settle. And when it did, floors shifted, doors wouldn’t close, windows broke, and the house became uninhabitable. Whoever was going to purchase this home would have to restore the foundation, and that wasn’t going to be cheap!

When it comes to the foundation our family is built on, the stakes are even higher! 

We must be purposeful and deliberate if we are going to build a great and godly family. So here are four ways we can create a strong and lasting foundation that will weather the strongest of storms.

1. COMMIT TO JESUS AS YOUR FOUNDATION FIRST

When you join a team, the jerseys are decided, the practices are set, and there are predetermined rules and plays you will learn.

When you come under the umbrella of God's Lordship, you are also joining His team. Some issues will naturally work themselves out because there are predetermined decisions that have already been made in His word.

And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Colossians 1:17 NKJV

When He is Lord of our family, He is the consistency in our foundation that holds it all together. If we remove JESUS from the equation, things will begin to crumble and disintegrate.

2. CREATE A BLUEPRINT OF WHAT YOU WANT TO BUILD

There is no one who is in their right mind that would begin to build a home without having some kind of plan on paper. If you wouldn’t wing it when building a facility, don’t wing it while building your family!

Start dreaming and praying about what God wants for your family. What is your mission? What is your purpose? Don’t just think about it, write it down and create guidelines and steps on how you will practically achieve this.

3. CHANGE ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T FIT THE VALUES AND TRUTH OF THE BIBLE

We live in a day where many cut and paste the parts of the Bible they like rather than taking the whole of God’s Word as an absolute. When we do this, it ceases being the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we have created our own religion and worship a false god. This will not work.

So take a good look at your belief systems, your habits, and your choices. Measure them up against the plumb line of God’s Word. If it doesn’t match up, make the changes and adjustments necessary so you and your family can walk in the fullness of God’s blessings.

4. CONFRONT THE PRESSURE TO BUILD YOUR FAMILY THE WORLD’S WAY

God always has and always will have the best definitions, strategies, and principles for marriage and family. Why? Because He made it all up. 

And this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but the world’s way is not working. We must be careful that we do not get so immersed in culture that we embrace what the system of this world believe without challenging it and making sure it lines up to God’s Word.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV 

The world will attempt to fix the cracks from a faulty foundation by slapping more putty in them, but we must refuse to place a Band-Aid on our family with today’s latest parenting trends and fads. We may seem crazy to the world, and they may mock and ridicule us for it…but when the winds and storms come, those same people may just end up at our doorsteps in need of comfort and shelter. 

When it comes to our family, we are building a house. And if it is going to last, we must dig deep and build it on the right foundation. Great and godly families never happen on accident.

If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks. Psalm 127:1a MSG


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Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is a pastor’s wife, graphic designer, and founder of Mom Mentor. Along with her husband, Matthew, they pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA and host Parenting on the Goand Marriage on the Go Podcasts! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!


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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina