Even the most faithful followers of God fall victim to hectic schedules and temptations of stress and negativity. With fall in full swing and the holiday season nearing, these stressful schedules are only amping up. However, this only makes the need for bringing ample amounts of grace into your home more crucial.
A family that lives under a roof full of God’s warmth is one that follows in his footsteps of love and deepest gratitude for one another. Look back unto the word of God and the path He has mapped out for us, such as the seven heavenly virtues or the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Within them, you may find guidance for creating a closer home.
Having endless faith and hope
Faith and hope are two of the seven heavenly virtues. To have faith is to strongly believe in all that is moral and good. To have hope is to remain positive throughout life, even in spite of hardships. It is incredibly important to encourage both faith and hope in your family’s life as it will consistently serve as your greatest tool in weathering difficult times.
Negativity can be an insidious energy and your children, as well as yourself, may find it particularly difficult to shake. Disappointment can cause a great deal of emotional strain and this can distract us from all of the blessings surrounding us. For every moment we are not focusing our energy on the small blessings in our lives, we are allowing ourselves to overlook God and be consumed by doubt.
Focus your family’s thoughts on blessings and gratitude by beginning each morning with prayer. Before jumping out of bed and beginning your routine, thank God for three things that He has brought into your life. Provide some gratitude-focused questions they can turn to in order to draw awareness to specific things they are grateful for. Establishing this as a part of your routine will help you start each morning on a positive note. Additionally, use faith as a means of reframing negative occurrences as blessings. Whenever your family becomes consumed by negativity, guide them in exploring what God is trying to teach them by bringing this difficult situation into their life. This will help your loved ones remain faithful in His vision and guidance.
Get into the Habit of Speaking to Him
Those who do not become comfortable with speaking to God throughout their daily life will fall into the habit of only doing so when they need Him and His powers of healing or guidance. God wishes to be a part of our lives consistently, not just when we feel we really need him. Lead by example and casually speak to Him when you’re with your children doing routine tasks. Take a moment to quickly thank Him for the lunch you’re preparing or to share with him something you’re happy or sad about. This will normalize being inconsistent in conversation with God and make the practice less intimidating.
Encourage your family to incorporate Him into all matters. And not just in times of need will provide a feeling of grace and safety into your home. Extend the process further by encouraging your children to end each night with God through prayer.
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The virtue of charity is especially important as the holidays approach. This virtue pertains to actively caring for and attending to those less fortunate. In the midst of festivities, fun, and the overall commercialization of the holiday season, it can be easy for your family (especially young children) to become overwhelmed by materialism.
Bring your family’s awareness back to the spirit of the holidays, planning time to give back in both small and large ways. Throughout the month of November, challenge your family to show thanks to someone each day, whether it be gratitude for a close friend or a stranger they’ve crossed paths with.
Every time they give back to someone out of gratitude, have them write it down on a post-it note, and stick it to a board. At Thanksgiving, display the board and read through all the ways in which your family showed gratitude. If you come from a household that celebrates Christmas, try planning “12 days of giving back.” Plan twelve separate ways to give back to your community and use the time as a family bonding opportunity!