Five Keys to Raising a Strong Family
Raising a family is immensely rewarding, but it can also be hard, especially in today’s world. Your kids are going to have to face more difficult decisions than you ever did in your younger years. Here are five ways you can strengthen and protect your family against the bad influences of the world.
1. Teach good values
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It’s your responsibility as parents to teach your children good values and principles. Teach them about God and how much He loves them. Teach them that honesty is the best policy. Teach them the Golden Rule, to treat others as they want to be treated.
Clearly defined values help direct a person’s choices. As your children get older, they will face tough challenges. Teach them to hold true to God’s standards regarding sex, drugs, finances, education, etc. You won’t be able to cover every situation they may encounter. What you can do is teach them right and wrong. Explain that every choice, good or bad, has a consequence. Throughout your children’s lives, make sure they know you will love them no matter what and that you will listen carefully when they have questions.
2. Hold a weekly family night
Latter-day Saints reserve one night a week for family night. You might hear them refer to it as family home evening. On these nights, families spend time together, learn the gospel, eat treats, and have fun. Family home evening can be tailored to your children, no matter how old they are. Young children may enjoy singing; watching a short, uplifting video; or acting out Bible stories for family members to guess. Older children may prefer a more formal lesson and then a family activity such as volleyball, bowling, or hiking.
3. Pray together as a family
As the old saying goes, “A family that prays together stays together.” God blesses families who pray together, giving them increased peace, love, and harmony in the home. Family prayer is also a great way to help younger children develop the habit of praying on their own. Sometimes busy schedules can make it difficult to pray as a family. But it’s worth the effort. Try choosing a time when you are normally together, such as mealtime or right before bed.
4. Go to church together
Families benefit from both the spiritual and social aspects of church attendance. At church, your children will learn all about Jesus’s teachings and how to apply them to their own lives. They can also make friends who have similar beliefs and who can be a good influence when they face peer pressure and other difficult decisions. Principles learned at church help reinforce the values taught at home, such as honesty and kindness. It’s a time commitment, but God blesses us when we attend.
5. Read God’s word
As you read the scriptures as a family, you will invite God’s Spirit to be in your home. The stories in the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon teach valuable lessons about faith and overcoming challenges. Though the stories happened long ago, they are still relevant today. Help your children understand that they can find courage, inspiration, and guidance in the scriptures. God will bless your family when you read together.