Each one of us needs to commit ourselves everyday to making our home and family holier and happier. God has given us this familial environment for our good and the good of society. So it would behove us to work for its perfection every single day we live. The passive acceptance of family life, with no planning and sacrificing, gets us nowhere other than unhappiness, fighting and possible divorce. Here are seven suggestions to live by.
- Faith in The Power of Prayer: Above all, it will be faith in God that will help us attain a better, more loving and peaceful family. We tap into the power of God through prayer. Without a prayer life, based on faith that God hears our prayers, we will fail. So we daily commit ourselves to practicing the most important thing there is, prayer. This is done when family assists together at the Holy Latin Mass every Sunday, and when ever possible during the week. Then there needs to be family, as well as individual prayer. That means taking time personally to pray and read the Bible and meditate on God daily. This must be a priority and a daily discipline. The family needs to pray the Holy Rosary everyday. Also abstinence from eating meat on Fridays unites the family in a spirit of sacrifice and sets them apart from the world. Make sure the children are given the best religious education possible. Parents are always the first teachers of the Catholic faith to their children. Start when they are babies and keep it up till they become priests, religious or get married.
- More love every morning and all day long. This can be obtained by meditating on the commandment to Love God and Neighbor. Who is more neighbor, than your spouse and your family. We all need to be loved and to love. If we do not find love and intimacy at home, we will look for it out in the streets, on Facebook, at work or school. I love because I want to, not because I necessarily feel like doing it. We all need to feel we belong. Put “love” into visible actions such as opening the door or helping even when it is not your responsibility.
- Communications: Get rid of all things like TV that interfere with good conversation and communications between family members. Dinner together is a great time for catching up on what is happening to everyone. Children come home and want to talk about their day, make sure you are available to be asking them questions and listening to them. Other things, that may seem to be more important at the time, can always wait. Remember to always cheerfully greet all those in your home every time you run into someone. Choose to use polite words and never fall into the destructive behavior of using bad and demeaning words when talking. If it is necessary, make a date to communicate over something of urgent matter. Do not let fear keep you from bringing up what is on your mind and think is serious.
- Finances: Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph lived very simple life styles. They give us the excellent example that happiness does not come from the house, cars, things or the bank account. If at all possible be debt free. The best way to do this is only use the credit card in extreme emergency. Never buy things on credit with payments, except maybe the house. You can always get by with a used car that has no payments. If you can not afford things, be humble and live within your financial means. Husbands work hard, but never over work to provide for your family. At all times put you faith in God that He will take care of your daily needs; “Give us this day our Daily Bread”. Be generous and God will be generous with you to take care of your needs, not “wants”.
- Work: Every family member must help for the good of all. It is a little like the bee hive where each has his individual duty that is indispensable. Dad works outside the house and mom works in the house. But when needed they help each other out because they love each other. Children help too. Boys need harder outdoor work while girls need to learn to cook, clean and sew. Most parents do not teach their children to work because it is easier to do it themselves than to patiently teach them. But in the long run, you have many wonderful helpers. Children, when young, love to please their parents by helping. Do not miss the opportunity to make wonderful help mates for the whole family.
- Children: A husband and a wife do not really make a family. If you are sterile, and have no children, you do the best you can to be happy. But the only reason to get married is to have children and all the children God wants to give you. Otherwise do not get married or have marital relationships. Each new child brings more joy into the family. But they also need a great deal of love and discipline. Each child is unique and needs to be treated differently. Be patient with your children. Give them time to grow up and mature. Always protect them from being abused and loosing their innocence. Be very careful of the friends they have at school. But many times it is a family member, like cousins, who will introduce them to evil things. Mothers stay home to take care of your children. You are doing the most important thing in the world; developing happy well balanced children. Today you may have to homeschool your children because of the terrible sex education in most public schools. Parents remember that your children will be destroyed if you fight all the time and divorce.
- Authority: Husbands are to be the head of the home, but only like Jesus is the head of His Church. That means in humble service to his wife and children and totally obedient to God’s laws. Wives are to be obedient to their husbands as long as he is not abusing them or telling them to do something contrary to God’s laws. No one, priests, consecrated religious, wives, children or citizens need to obey laws that go contrary to God’s laws. Children need to be lovingly trained to obey their parents and show respect to priests, sisters, relatives, teachers and elders.
We are so so fortunate to be able to know what plan God has developed for us to be happy. Now we just need to take the time and discipline it takes to put it into practice.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.