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About the Author

Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and has written books for parents, youth workers, and students. Jim and his wife, Cathy, and their daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi, live in Southern California. Visit HomeWord.


Creating Five-Star Families

By Jim Burns

CBN.comEveryone wants to have a great family! Unfortunately, for many, family relationships produce a lot of strain – and “great” would not be a word used to characterize them. Still, most parents are doing a good job of building their families – but don’t realize it. All parents should understand that there are no perfect families. I know for sure that mine isn’t! Likewise, there is no perfect parenting method. Fortunately, it is possible, with God’s help, to grow a great family!

Not long ago, I spoke with author Carol Kuykendall about what it takes to build great families. She has written a book, Five-Star Families: Moving Yours From Good to Great, and has put her own twist on how to do it, addressing five areas of family life that matter most. Here are Carol’s “Five Stars” with my own take on how they can make a difference in building your family.

1. Faith.   “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1) That’s one of the greatest pieces of advice from the Psalms of the Old Testament. It is very clear in the Bible (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7) that the primary role of a parent is to train children who will not only be faithful to their relationships with God but who will also develop their own vital vibrant faith. Faith provides a tremendous foundation for building a great family! Today, there is a fresh wind inspiring parents to take an active, intentional role in nurturing the faith of their children. Be a part of what God’s Spirit is doing in this area. Don’t miss out on perhaps the greatest legacy you can pass on to your kids: a life that demonstrates a passionate pursuit of God and love for Him. Be reminded, encouraged and challenged: This process starts with you!

2. Growth. Great families grow spiritually, emotionally, and physically! This means that parents must make intentional investments in these areas. No family relationship is ever stagnant. It is either growing stronger or weaker. Your family will grow strong as you tackle these important growth areas head on. For example, as mentioned above, make sure you are setting the spiritual pace for your family. Look to express A.W.E. to your family often – affirmation, warmth, and encouragement. Make choices for your family in regards to diet and exercise that will lead to a healthy lifestyle.

3. Fun.   Great families take time to play and have fun! A marvelous thing happens to families when they play together: They begin to talk and laugh and lighten up. Family memories are built, inside jokes are shared, and serious moments of intimacy are communicated. Families need special times together to build lifelong memories and to play together!

4. Loyalty.   The Bible says, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) Loyalty is a key ingredient to building great families! Commitment to one another in family relationships is a vital component of what I call the “Power of Being There.”  Family members thrive when they know that there are people they can count on for love, support, and encouragement in the good times, as well as the bad!

5. Love.   Lessons in godly love are first and best learned in the context of family relationships. Great families demonstrate love to one another! Now, every family is different in how they express affection. Sadly, many parents withhold affection because "we didn't do that when I was growing up." Consequently, if we’ve grown up without a positive model to follow, we may not know how to demonstrate affection. Even in some of the most caring homes, parents may stop touching their children once they reach grade-school age. When this happens, an important part of showing God's love also stops. All of us – children, teenagers and adults alike – need meaningful and loving affection. God will use our affection to show our family members how valuable they are, and how much they are loved by both their earthly families and by our heavenly Father!


Purchase your copy of Carol Kuykendall’s book, Five-Star Families: Moving Yours From Good to Great

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Printed by permission of HomeWord.  For additional information on HomeWord, visit or call 800-397-9725.


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