At church, my job is to teach the children music in Sunday school. The chorus of a new song that I am teaching goes like this:
“God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be. This is how He shows His love, for the family is of God.”
This is such a simple idea that I believe to be so true. The family is the very basic unit of society, and it is central in God’s plan for us. For this reason, I believe that satan has decided to rage an all out war to try to destroy families. When we know and understand this, we can be proactive and fight against that evil influence. As Christian women we can help make families strong. We can start at home, and then we can work to influence others in our circles. Together we can create a stronger, more faith-driven community as we strengthen families.
The family is the place where our schooling begins. It is the first place we have the opportunity to feel love. As parents, we can work to make our homes a safe place of love. We can express that to one another openly and through our actions. We can choose to be kinder and more patient with one another. We can choose to forgive and to turn the other cheek. We can choose to be nice instead of right all of the time. As we try to behave like the Savior in our homes, we will feel His presence and influence more and more. We can also decide what influences we will allow in our homes. We choose the language, media, video games, and music that is appropriate and does not distract from the spirit of peace that we are trying to create.
One thing our family does that helps us feel God’s love is to pray together in the morning before we leave and at night before we go to bed. This ‘family prayer’ is separate from prayers over the food. We kneel together, a parent calls on someone to pray, and in those prayers we express gratitude and love for one another. We specifically pray for each other. As we do this, I find that hearts are softened towards each other. We get along better, and we are more considerate of each other. I think those prayers also help my kids to be stronger when they leave the safety of our home. I like to think that those prayers assign them a special guardian angel for the day. That is a powerful way to send your kids out into the world.
We also take one night a week for a special “family night.” This includes prayer, our family counsel, a spiritual lesson or fun activities, and a treat. My kids look forward to family night, especially the treat part. It is a good time for us to come together and give instruction as parents, and get everyone on the same page for the week. We coordinate schedules and discuss issues that help our family life to run more smoothly. We also get the chance to teach specific values and principles that we want our children to learn.
Parents have an obligation to teach their children correct principles.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
We have to schedule time for that training. A regular family night is a great way to start that. Then, as we spend quality time together developing our relationships, other teaching moments will arise. If we take these opportunities, our children will be armed with added strength when they leave our homes.
Notice that the Proverb says, “When they are old” that they will not depart from our teachings. Sometimes, even when you teach correct principles, when they are “young” they choose to depart from them. This can be painful and cause a lot of worry for parents. This scripture can help give us courage and strength. If we are patient and keep loving and praying for them, when they are older, and after some learning experiences; like the prodigal son, they will return. (See Luke 15:11-32) If you are a parent suffering with that problem, do not lose your faith, and do not give up on them.
God never gives up on us.
We all need to champion the cause of the family and do things in our own homes and communities to strengthen it because the family is of God.
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