It isn’t the big fancy vacations that create strong family bonds, but it is the daily and weekly opportunities to show love that build those relationships brick by brick. The death of my husband has given me a lot of time to reflect on family relationships. I have seen families that have been torn apart by tragedies such as mine, and I have seen families that have grown closer together. As I have analyzed the difference, a common thread prevails. Families who had strong family bonds before the tragedy pull together and form even stronger relationships. Families whose bonds were tenuous cannot withstand the added stress, and those relationships crumble.
Strong Family Bonds
Eventually each of us and our families will face a crisis. We cannot withstand a storm we are not prepared for. Is your family strong enough to withstand the buffeting winds? Are your family bonds build with brick and mortar, or have they been casually placed pieces of straw?
Creating strong family bonds takes on going work and effort. It has to be one of the highest priorities in your life.
“We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and family home evening and by just having fun together. In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other. We learn from each other, and we appreciate our differences as well as our commonalities. We establish a divine bond with each other as we approach God together through family prayer, gospel study, and Sunday worship.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Those simple, consistent things are the ways that we show love and build those relationships–creating strong family bonds.
“Love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34).
This simple phrase holds the key to the success of every family and every marriage. Through Christ’s love we can see our family members potential. We learn to love them with all our heart, soul, and mind. As we work to do this our ordinary family relationships can be transformed into an extraordinary bonds that cannot be broken.
I want to share a few things that helped our family to create those close knit relationships. Every family is different and what works for one family will not necessarily work for another. We often have to choose between GOOD things as we determine the BEST way to spend our family time. After reading my suggestions, listen to the whisperings in you heart. The Holy Spirit can help you make those tough choices by letting you know the BEST ways that you can improve your family bonds.
7 Tips to Help you Create Strong Family Bonds
- One-on-one time: Weekly date nights for couples and chances to spend individual time with children are a must. My husband and I always had a date night each week. We planned a get-a-way for us once a year. I took my teens for lunch individually once a week. My husband had hunting trips with his sons and daddy daughter dates with his daughter a few times a year.
- Family recreation: Walks, bike rides, game nights, etc. Plan fun family traditions and activities and have a dedicated family night at least once a week. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on activities. Find ones that encourage communications and being active.
- Reading together: Spend less time watching TV and individual computer time and more time together cuddled up in a blanket with a book. My husband read to our children every night, even to our teens. This was such a strong family tradition that my oldest son picked up the book and read to his siblings the night after his dad died.
- Dinner together: Do not over schedule children’s activities so that you never have dinner together. Sitting and talking at dinner can help to pull your family together. Put the phones away and just talk.
- Avoid closed doors: My children shared rooms and we always had an open door policy. People need sometime for solitude, but family members should never feel ‘shut out’ or unwanted. It is easy, and often there is less contention, to let everyone live in the same house, but stay in their own space. The habit of spending all of our time separate from one another does not create strong family bonds. Even though you may have to deal with more fights. Learning to work through problems is more beneficial in the long run that just avoiding interaction with each other.
- Worship together: Going to church as well as family worship with prayer and scripture study helps to create a more unified focus. It helps to bring the Spirit into your home. With that Spirit, more love will abound.
- Work and Serve together: Although work time does not seem as fun as the playtime together, it is an important part of teaching family members that relationships, not activities bring us joy. That doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate with ice cream after the work is done!
I know that as we work to create strong family bonds, and better relationships our family members will feel our love more fully for them.
“Feeling the security and constancy of love from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such love nurtures and sustains faith in God. Such love is a source of strength and casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Such love is the desire of every human soul.” – David A. Bednar
That love will transform your home.
What are some ways you help create strong family bonds?
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