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On Being More Than a Nice Family

Be more than a nice family: be loving, devoted, accepting, encouraging, peaceful, prayerful, and forgiving.

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I once conducted a funeral for a word. That’s right, a word. True story.

To my credit, it was a particularly offensive word.

It was mid-year, and I confessed to an elementary school teacher friend of mine that I might just have to throw myself in front of a bus if my students used this word one. more. time. to describe a friend, detail a character, tell of an experience or comment on a piece of literature.

What was the word, you ask? “Nice.”

(I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now. Unless you’re a teacher of beginning writers, and then you’re raising your fist in the air with me in solidarity. I see you fellow English educators; I see you.)

My friend suggested the word-funeral, thus banning “nice” from existence for the remainder of the year. (Apparently, among elementary school teachers, this is a thing.)

At first students joked: “Your shirt is so ‘nice’ today, Mrs. Owens.” “That book we’re reading right now is really ‘nice,’ Mrs. Owens.” “Don’t you think the weather is ‘nice,’ Mrs. Owens?”

(Very funny.)

Soon after, however, students queried, “If we can’t use the word ‘nice,’ what word can we use?”

And that is where the true education began. We talked of thesauruses and word pictures and showing versus telling. It was so exciting, their enthusiasm for better word choice and truer description and sharper detail.

Not too long ago, someone described my family as being “nice.” After resisting the urge to leap in front of the closest public transportation, I listened as the person struggled to explain. “Your girls are so ‘nice’ to each other; they’re so ‘nice’ to you. How did your family get to be so ‘nice?'”

Don’t get me wrong, her assessment of our family made my heart soar! But also, I wondered later, what DOES it mean to be a “nice” family?

The Bible lays out some clear instructions for how we should treat one another — for how to be “nice.” We are to:

If we want our kids to be more than just “nice” to us and to one another and to their friends and beyond, we need to help them understand with truer description and sharper detail what being “nice” means.

undivided-SPINE-copyAnd so we offer you Undivided: Living FOR and Not Just WITH One Another. It’s a simple, easy-to-use family devotional that will help you take your entire family through each of the “one another” passages above to see with greater clarity what it really means to be a “nice” family according to Scripture.

Our prayer is that together, you’ll be more than just a nice family … that you’ll be loving, devoted, accepting, encouraging, peaceful, prayerful, forgiving — and that as you grow in these areas, you’ll become a family undivided by the pressures and distractions and temptations of this fallen world.

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Gifted with one beautiful daughter for her tenth wedding anniversary and another for her twentieth, high school English teacher turned homeschooling mom Rhonda Owens is passionate about the Word. She loves nothing more than to study it, talk about it, write about it, apply it, live it and teach it ... all preferably accompanied by deep community and good chocolate. Exploring with husband Mitchell and her two girls is a favorite pastime, and you might find them snorkeling, hiking, or kayaking in a remote corner of God’s world — or simply walking in the woods behind their home in little Bryan, Ohio. Co-author of the book Undivided: A Family Devotional: Living FOR And Not Just WITH One Another , her writing can also be discovered at Additionally, you can find Rhonda on Facebook, Instagram (rhonda_owens) or at where she contributes regularly.

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On Being More Than a Nice Family

by Rhonda Owens time to read: 3 min