Love at home

In family

To readers joining us as part of the “Spiritual boot camp,” welcome! I’m so thrilled you’re here!
When first asked to write a “spiritual boot camp” post, I thought  “boot camp” seemed a bit harsh and aggressive to pair with our spiritual efforts … to pair with love at home …  But during the last decade or so, our prophets and Church leaders have consistently warned the world that families are under attack from the adversary. “Attack” is the word of choice from these chosen vessels of the Lord. And with all that is going on in the world today, we see their prophecies proving true … we see the full-blown attack underway. We don’t have time to casually prepare – we need to be prepared now. So, perhaps boot camp is actually the perfect word.

In 2010, President Thomas S. Monson said:

 “Inasmuch as the family unit is under attack in the world today, and many things long held sacred are ridiculed, we ask Thee, our Father, to make us equal to the challenges we face, that we may stand strong for truth and righteousness. May our homes be havens of peace, of love and of spirituality.”

So, how do we make our homes havens of peace and of love and of spirituality? As I’ve pondered this, three ideas have been placed in my mind and heart (undoubtedly from the Spirit, and obviously personalized for our family’s needs … I encourage you to consider your family’s unique needs as you read):

love at home


#1. Center Christ at the heart of the home.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World  says, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

And Elder Robert D. Hales says, “The greatest help for our families comes through the gospel—from our Heavenly Father, through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, in the doctrines and principles, and through the priesthood.”
Read his amazing talk, “With all the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope for Families.”

Sometimes, as parents, we feel like we talk too much of “churchy” things … but the Spirit swiftly reminds me that Satan is incessant. The onslaught of messages from the evil one fly with great speed and from all angles. We must not put our children more at risk because of our own silence or our own insecurities or fear.

We must keep our minds, hearts, words and actions centered on Christ. “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophecy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2Nephi 25:26). As we place Christ at the heart of our homes, our homes will fill with His light and His love – then they can be a safe haven from the world.

 

#2. Work, and work well.
It’s almost cliché to hear spouses say, “It takes work. You just have to work at it” in regards to their marriage – I always want to reply with a sarcastic, “Duh!” Yet, today’s romanticized relationships on the big screens don’t typically showcase work in marriages … or in families. Even so, the age-old adage rings true: “What is worth doing is worth doing well.”

So the Spirit tells me, if you’re going to have a family, really have at it … work on nurturing and nourishing it. Give your spouse and children all your efforts, your commitment and your heart. Give them the best opportunities in this world by giving them opportunities to feel God’s love. Yes, there will be hard times and heartache; yes, there will be sacrifice and sorrow; but there will come great satisfaction and joy knowing that you didn’t merely just survive – because you constantly strive to thrive.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World also says, “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

That sentence is chalk full of eternal wisdom … it could be dissected into its own blog series … but for this thought, please note that both work and play are listed. “Work while you work, play while you play; this is the way to be happy each day,” is the start of a poem we recently memorized in our homeschool. We must balance both of these principles; and we will find them most beneficial and enjoyable when accomplished together – as family units.

Growing up, my mom’s {overly enthusiastic} voice cheered, “The family that cleans together, stays together” or “The family that rakes leaves together, stays together” – really just enter in whatever chore was on the day’s “To Do” list … And as we worked side-by-side, or in behalf of one another, an unmatched unity grew. We also had a lot of fun together … but looking back, I can see that the work strengthened our family unit much faster and firmer than any entertaining forms of fun.

 

#3. For love to be at home, families must be home!
We are all so busy, and it’s vital for each family member to spend time at home – and preferably at the same time! Earlier I posted about slowing our summers,  and the Spirit’s call to increase the sacred and decrease the stress. I can say that I’m making it a conscious effort, and I feel and see the good fruits of that labor! When it happens, it’s wonderful!

Plus, I’ve found that being home physically can be different than being home mentally. I once worked for a busy and burdened CEO. He told me that when he pull into his garage every night, as he turned the keys of his car off, he turned his mind off of business. He trained his mind to do this – and it took time and effort – but then he was able to enter his home with his heart and his mind, ready to give his family his all. I love that!

 

So tell me, what tips do you have for boosting and building love at home?
What makes all the difference in your family’s day-to-day?

 

 

 

 

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  • Ashley McCarthy
    Reply

    I love your post so very much! Particularly where you expressed not being too afraid to talk of “churchy” things. We must let our light as love of the gospel shine forth, in order to be an example to others, and build a loving home!

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