When life gets busy, family time and family relationships tend to fall by the wayside. We drive our kids to extra curricular activities and run errands, and while these things are important, they often act as distractors from building up our family. When the busyness of life gets in the way of strengthening our familial relationships, we may need to take another look at where our priorities lie.
Theology of the Body reminds us that families are schools of love and virtue where we learn how to live life as a gift. Obviously that’s a very different vision of family life than the world has, which tends to define“family” as just any group of people that lives under the same roof and shares a data plan. God wants more for His families. He wants to use your family to satisfy the longing in your heart for a love that is honest, strong, joyful, warm and deep.
Here are three More2Life hacks for becoming a better family:
1. Create Sacred Moments–Want to celebrate the family life God wants for you? Then ask him to teach you, together. Cultivate meaningful, daily family prayer times. There are lots of different ways to pray. Just remember that prayer isn’t supposed to be about saying the right words, it’s about drawing closer to God AND each other. When you pray, however you pray, make sure to thank God for the specific ways he’s blessed your family every that day. Take turns bringing real concerns to him and asking for his help. Ask for God’s wisdom to respond well to the big questions your family is facing. Family prayer works best when you stop “SAYING” prayers and start offering your hearts to God in prayer. That’s the kind of prayer that lets grace be the source of the warmth in your home.
2. Waste Time Together–Want to enjoy a closer, more joyful family life? As Pope Francis puts it, “Waste time with your kids.” Family life doesn’t happen when we’re busy with many things. Family life happens in the little moments when we stop doing and start BEING together. Make time to BE together. Everyday, make it a priority to take at least 15 minutes to do something fun, to talk about something more meaningful than “what happened today”, to work side-by-side on something, and to connect to God. If you take 15 min to do those 4 things, you’re spending an hour a day learning how to love each other better, enjoy each other more, and connect a little deeper. Wasting time with your family isn’t an obligation. It’s a blessing. Let God bless your family by prioritizing your need to work, talk, pray, and play together, even a little bit, every day.
3. Build Your House–Want to have a stronger, more loving family? Build each other up. Most families don’t talk about their relationship unless they’re getting on each other’s nerves. God’s families deserve better. Regularly talk about ways you can take better care of each other, and get along better with each other. At dinner time, talk about virtues like patience, joy, love, respect, responsibility and ask how your family can do a better job living out those qualities out. Parenting is no fun if you’re just putting out fires all the time. But it gets a lot more enjoyable when you’re able to talk together about creating a stronger, more loving more joyful family life. Make a point of making time to build you home together–instead of just always trying to put out fires.
For more information on how to become a stronger, better family, check out Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids and make sure to tune in to More2Life weekdays at 10am E/9am C on EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network, SiriusXM 139.