Creating the ideal family isn’t always easy, but relationships founded with a spiritual connection may have a greater chance of survival and satisfaction. Families are strengthened when parents and children have a mutual focus on supporting one another on their spiritual paths, however different they may be.
The goal is to attain love, unity, and loyalty to one another and we can better accomplish that when we practice these principles.
Love and respect for each other. When family members know they are loved and appreciated, they are secure and more self-assured. Love is based on serving each other, working together, facing difficulties as partners, and walking hand in hand through the ups and downs of daily life. Families are beautiful when beauty is looked for and cultivated.
Effective Communication. Talk about your problems with each other, make plans together, and cooperate toward common objectives. Practice giving a soft answer. If you speak out of anger, are constantly complaining, or have offended your spouse or child, it is time to ask for forgiveness. When you practice giving the soft answer, it will bless your home, your family, and your marriage.
Family Council. Regular meetings as a family is an effective tool toward building spiritual connection. Talk about anything and everything from your plans for the week to sharing your feelings.
Alone Time. This is especially important if you have children. Take time to be together as a couple and to involve your children individually. Date night, family council, and simply talking around the dinner table are necessary to grow spiritually as a family.
Work Together. Families who work together toward solutions instead of resorting to criticism and contention will thrive in their relationships. It’s not always easy, but will strengthen you as an individual and in your family.
Pray. Pray together and for each other. Prayer is the means to acknowledge appreciation for blessings and to humbly recognize dependence on God for strength, sustenance, and support. Discuss your needs and wants and give each other encouragement. Fast together in support of each other and your family.
Support each other. Whether you're pursuing your dream, a goal, training for a marathon, or just making ends meet, support each other with sincere and genuine love.
Do things together. Spend quality time with your family. Work on home projects, plan vacations, or go grocery shopping together. Quality time is so important.
Study the scriptures. The scriptures are a powerful tool in building spiritual connection. Individual study is crucial, but reading together can be so powerful and beneficial to your family.
Forgive one another. We can’t be truly forgiven without forgiving others. Your spouse and kids will inevitably make mistakes, and so will you. The key is to own up to those mistakes and try your best not to make them again. Rabbi Julius Gordon said, “Love is not blind – it sees more, not less, but because it sees more, it is willing to see less.” Patience, understanding, and forgiveness are fundamental in strengthening your family.
Building a spiritual connection with your family can be one of the most rewarding and fun things you do. At the end of the day, you enter into relationships for your own reasons. With some dedicated focus on where you are placing your attention and intention, you can create something really spectacular.Becky Squire is a writer and speaker. She has been published in several media outlets including the Ensign, LDS Living, and the Today Show. She's also the founding editor of Latter-Day Woman Magazine. Follow Becky Squire on Instagram