To create a rock-hard family, we must first understand the terms involved. What does it mean to be rock hard? The adjectives solid, firm and impenetrable come to mind. If we can create a bond between the members of our family that fits this description, we will have created a family that is impenetrable to destructive outside forces.
What outside sources are penetrating our families today? What or who would attempt to destroy our family solidarity and why? Most every person I ever encounter, whether they be in politics, education, business or in society at large, seems to value the family. Surely none of those people or organizations are openly trying to destroy the solidarity of our families. Yet businesses and governments as well as programs and agendas seem to be targeted at our families, and can often have negative effects.
Maybe the problem lies in the lens we are looking through as we consider the idea of family. Some look at the family through a governmental lens, while others look at the family through the lens of production or business. What lens should the family be viewed through?
Through a government lens, the family should be a seen as a unit responsible for looking out for its own. Through an education lens, the family should be seen as the most influential educators in the life of a child or person. Through the religious lens, the family should be seen as the basic, fundamental structure for promoting morals, goodness, truth and identity.
I suppose some educators could view the family as ignorant, and some governments could view the families as weak and in need of reform or programs. Of course businesses often view the family as the means to that business' financial success. And philanthropic organizations view the family as a group in need of their ideas and programs.
Clearly all of these groups see the family through a different lens, and because of that they interact with the family or impact the family differently. Some of these groups inadvertently impact the family negatively. Look at the entertainment industry and technological businesses. Today's families are plagued with too many distractions. Through technological devices and movies, music, books and social media, families are more disconnected than ever before. Properly governing those many distractions is a difficult task for any family. Often times parents find themselves competing with video games for their child's attention, while kids suffer from want of attention because of parental cell phone usage or TV watching. People in the education industry are frequently teaching ideas, topics and concepts that undermine the family's role in their child's development. And governments seem to be tightening their grasp on deciding what families will be forced to do with each new legislative session.
It is important that the family is well aware of the distractions and inadvertent attacks, as well as blatant and advertent attacks on the vital institution of the family.
What can we do to strengthen the family? How can we make our families more solid?
Here are five ideas for how to increase the spiritual solidarity of the modern family:
1. Talk openly with your children and grandchildren about the dangers, distractions and attacks on the family.
2. Create a family vision or mental picture of what a solid family is meant to look like. Work toward that picture as a group. Use it as a lifelong focus. Practice the feeling that this vision inspires by having weekly family activities, or family nights.
3. Regularly check up on your family's progress toward drawing nearer to your family vision by having weekly family meetings or councils together. During these family meetings discuss how the family is doing at becoming more solid and unified.
4. Strengthen the husband and wife relationship by having regular, weekly dates together as a couple. Never underestimate the power this one, unified relationship has to unite the entire family. If this husband-wife relationship is not unified and solid, it has the ability to destroy the solidarity of the entire family. It is useful to discuss this weekly and to have weekly dates as a unified couple.
5. Deliberately and regularly evaluate the outside world's influence upon the family. Discuss the impact the family's involvement in media and education is having on the family relationships. Discuss the families extracurricular activities and if they are burdening the family or helping the family. It is okay for one person to sacrifice for the good of the whole family. In fact, it's healthy. Families should practice deciding together what activities they should say no to. Some media should not be watched, some educational decisions should be altered, and some activities should be postponed or abandoned. The unity of the family must be the first priority of the family. We cannot worry about disappointing other people around us. Creating a spiritually solid and unified family is significantly more important than pleasing our neighbors and friends.
It is true that in our modern society the family has been steadily losing its power and influence. Instead, the family has been influenced by every other structure in our communities and countries. But we must not lose hope. We must believe in the power of the family. Families will become more solid as increasing numbers of people turn to their families for stability, morals, principles, foundational understanding, peace and hope. The most important thing that we can do to create spiritually and morally solid families is to believe in the power and influence that the family has historically always had in society and then live up to that influential status. If we believe in the family, then we can restore the family deliberately back to its position of influence.
If you missed the Peck family live family night, you can see it at https://parentingselfgovernment.com/events/free-peck-family-night-webinar