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  • Dr. Gil Stieglitz

Cultivating Structure and Order in Families

I was talking the other day with a young man who was having trouble in his family. The children were not behaving and were causing all kinds of problems for their parents. I suggested that one of the ways to help his children was to bring order to that relational garden. In my understanding and experience, there are five elements that are needed to bring structure and order to families. They all start with R, so I call them the 5 R's: Relationship, Respect, Rules, Responsibility, Resources.

Almost every week when my wife, Dana, and I had kids in the home, we had a "staff meeting" to go over these 5R's. We monitored how we were doing in these areas and how our children were doing in these areas. These five topics allowed us to systematically cover the issues that can often slip under the surface and jump up later in the teenage years.

Here is what we did in our staff meeting to bring order to raising our children and thereby bring peace to our home. We made a chart with the 5 R's and each of our children's names, then discussed how each one was doing on each of these issues.

My wife and I would discuss how each of us and each of the children were doing on these crucial elements of a peaceful family. We had the rule that we could only work on one of these issues per week. So we would decide together which one of these areas was the area to work on with which child and then how we were going to work on that area to bring it up to the place where we thought it should be.

It was always amazing how I would come into the meeting thinking we should work on this one with the oldest or that one with the middle or this with the youngest, and then when I talked with Dana about it we agreed together on a much different and better plan than I would have come up with on my own! She saw things and heard things that I was unaware of. When the Scriptures say that a Father should not exasperate his children, this staff meeting is a major way God used to keep me from that problem.

If there are problems in your family, you probably can't attack them all at once, but you need a way of regularly addressing the issues and concerns that come up in a family. I would suggest that you look into this method.

I look forward to interacting with you during your spiritual journey. Please email me at to let me know how God is working in and through your life. Your greatest life is just ahead.

In His service,

Pastor Gil


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