Ever wonder what the single most important thing you can do to bring peace and happiness into your home? The key is uniting your family in faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. I have found that this is THE most impactful thing to bring our family peace and happiness together.
“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”The Family: A Proclamation to the World
When our family is focused on the Savior Jesus Christ, our home becomes a place of happiness and our family interactions are enhanced dramatically. As you strive to live like the Savior, He will help you become a better person, more kind, patient, forgiving, helpful, loving, etc. I have definitely seen a difference in me and my loved ones as we strive to do better and be more like Him.
We have found several activities that really help bring us closer to our Savior as well to each other as a family.
CHURCH ATTENDANCE TOGETHER. Worshiping Him every Sunday together as a family is a great way to strengthen and unite your family. Sharing common beliefs will help you feel His power and spirit in your home allowing you to feel closer and a greater strength and power will be present there.
Church service can be challenging and so our family tries to support each other as we strive to do our best in our church service and responsibilities there. When I was called to be responsible for all of the women in our area, my family helped out a lot doing extra chores around the house. If I was gone doing visits or at meetings, they would help make dinner, wash dishes, help each other with homework, or whatever else needed doing around the house. It was a great strength to me.
Now it’s my husband’s turn to serve the men in the area. As he tries to fulfill his large responsibilities, we help out by picking up the chores and things that he no longer has time to complete. We try not to complain if he is gone a lot or stay up too late if he has early morning meetings. I remember when my kids were little and they would ask where Daddy was, I’d say, “He’s serving the Lord.” It’s a great reminder to them of why we do what we do and Who we are really helping!
COME, FOLLOW ME. Starting this year, every Sunday we have an hour long scripture study and family discussion. We are studying the New Testament. We read a few chapters and then have a lesson and discussion about what we learned. We alternate who prepares the lesson each week. I have seen so much growth in our family. Our knowledge of the scriptures and especially our love of the Savior has grown tremendously. We always share our testimonies of Him at the end of each lesson. It really helps us bring the Spirit into our home. Here is my post about the Come, Follow Me.
FAMILY HOME EVENINGS. Monday nights in our home are reserved for quality family time. We try not to let any other activities interfere with our time together. This year we have done a lot of fun things as a family. We like to go places like hiking, swimming, escape rooms, service projects, sporting events, or bowling. Sometimes we stay home and play board games, outdoor sports, go for a walk, ride a bike, or watch a movie. When things got crazy in May we actually had a homework night and we all sat together and worked. We try to plan it out before hand and do a variety of things together. This has been a great bonding time for our family.
FAMILY PRAYER. I cannot tell you just how much this has helped our family be more united and loving towards each other. When you kneel down together and pray for each family member by name, you feel strengthened and closer. Family prayer brings such a peaceful spirit into our home. We usually sing a hymn before we pray to help us get ready for the prayer. Sometimes we think of a new blessing each night to thank our Heavenly Father for. Other times we discuss things or people that should be included in our prayers. This helps add a little variety to the prayers. We also alternate whose turn it is.
We pray before the kids go to bed and in the morning before anyone leaves for the day. My daughter leaves for school before 6:30 so we roll our of bed to pray with her. We also have couple prayers in the morning and right before we go to bed.
Every time we go on a trip we always have a prayer before we leave to ask for safety and protection. We have been on a lot of trips and seen Him protect us. We also pray before every meal together. Here is my post on prayer.
FASTING. Our family holds a monthly fast. This is like a super charged, extra focused prayer. We fast for 2 meals or 24 hours. Going without food can be difficult sometimes, but we have seen SO MANY BLESSINGS come through fasting. We have fasted for financial help, schooling, sick family members, when to have kids, really you can fast for anything you may be struggling with at the moment. We usually start after dinner on Saturday night and then continue fasting until dinner on Sunday. We try to plan it out so we are drinking a lot during the day on Saturday and eat a big dinner before we start our fast. We also talk about things or people to include in our fast. This helps us have a focus and be united as a family.
Fasting brings you so much spiritual strength and peace. It is a wonderful way to feel your Heavenly Father’s love in your life. There is a bonding that occurs when you fast with your family members for a specific cause. We did this just recently with some of my siblings and saw miracles happen in our lives.
We donate the cost of the two meals that we fasted to the church as “Fast Offerings”. This money is used to help feed and clothe those struggling in our neighborhood. It is an additional blessing to be able to help those around you while receiving so many blessings in return. My dad always gave a generous fast offering and we were very blessed to always have more than enough food…which is quite a blessing considering I had 7 very hungry older brothers.
FAMILY SCRIPTURE STUDY. Studying the Savior’s words in the scriptures daily helps us learn more about Him and how to be more like Him. This helps us bring His spirit into our home and helps it feel a little bit more like heaven. I have noticed that when we read scriptures every night together the kids seem to fight less, help each other more, and things just seem to go smoother in our home. We are trying to focus more on the studying part and not just reading cover to cover. Each night we have a focus like: use the study helps, sing a hymn, find Jesus, look for doctrine, liken the scriptures to your life, and find the setting. We are trying to help them look a little deeper into the words on the page. Each night we also read the scriptures together as a couple before bed. Reading scriptures has such a calming affect and helps us prepare for bed and calm my mind so I can sleep.
FAMILY SERVICE. If you want your kids to be more loving to each other and appreciate what they have then get them serving others. I can tell you that our family has had so many positive experiences while serving together. We have cleaned the church, helped mow elderly neighbors’ yards, shoveled show for others, helped grandparents, helped at the local food bank, raised funds for the local children’s hospital, helped with a charity yard sale, picked up trash in the park, made cookies for a neighbor, and helped with a nonprofit event.
When we serve together we appreciate each other and our circumstances more. We leave feeling lighter and happier. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture. Little things can make a huge impact on those you serve and your children. You can teach them to be His hands on the earth by serving all those around us. For service ideas, check out JustServe.org. It has lots of ideas for service opportunities in your zip code. Here’s my post on Service.
FAMILY HISTORY. If you want to understand yourself a little better, get to know your ancestors. What were they like? Do you have any traits like them? Do they have any stories of when they overcame a challenge? You can learn a lot about your family when you do family history.
There are a lot of ways to DO family history. You can collect pictures, movies, stories, and journals. I like to use the FamilySearch Memories app to record them online. You can research information online or help with indexing old records on Family Search. My kids love to get on and look at pictures of their ancestors. Many ancestors have stories and pictures on their pages. You can celebrate their birthdays or read more about them.
One fun site is Relative Finder. You can see how you are related to famous people and others around you. I discovered my neighbor from New Zealand is my 12 cousin through my dad’s line. Doing family history will not only bring your immediate family closer, but you will discover so many fun insights about your ancestors. Roots Mapper has a map that shows where your ancestors come from. Tree Seek lets you print off different family tree charts.
Having faith in the Savior Jesus Christ and acting as He did will help your family grow in so many ways you have yet to experience. You too can have unbelievable peace, unity, and joy in your home. Try some of these ideas out and let me know how it goes.
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