Life is busy. Life is complex. Everyone is always pushing and pulling to get things done, to run errands, to make dinner and basically just accomplish anything at all. Kids have games and recitals and lessons and often times may feel lost in the shuffle. Husbands and wives forget to make time for each other and start drifting apart. And then we lie awake at night asking ourselves the same question over and over, "How can I do better? How can I help my family come back together?"
I know that many times in my life I feel overwhelmed and find myself at a loss as to how I could possibly pull my head back above the surface. At times it seems that my family is going through the motions of life without really feeling the love that exists. Day after day of screaming and fighting children, losing patience and feeling lonely and exhausted leave me empty and devoid of emotion.
And then it strikes me - when is the last time I really prayed to God? When is the last time I really studied the Holy Scriptures? And can these things really help to strengthen the love within my family?
Pray for them
Prayer is something that can be either routine and quick, or deep and heartfelt. The routine and quick kind are the ones that most of us probably would admit to doing much of the time. But ask yourself this, when is the last time I got down on my knees in a quiet moment and poured out my heart to God?
Prayer is one of the best ways to start getting out of those overwhelming life modes and can bring a struggling family back together. If you take the time to start having sincere prayers on your own and then make a concerted effort to pray together as a family, the Spirit of the Lord will come into your home and your family will feel it. Praying specifically for certain family members helps them know how much you love and care about their own trials. It often takes time, but God does hear your prayers and will answer them in his own time.
Study his word
Studying the scriptures is one of the ways that God answers prayers. If you are praying for your family to be closer and more tightly knit together, the answers you need are waiting in the scriptures. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (KJV Luke 11:9)
Other simple acts of obedience are good ways to draw closer to God and subsequently strengthen the love in your family. Attend church services, visit your neighbors and friends, serve others in need. All these small acts of charity and love will demonstrate what kind of person you are to your family. The spirit of God will be in your heart and help you to be more kind and loving at home. And the others around you will feel the love that you have for them.
These small acts of obedience to God can sometimes be seen as a way to take away time from your family. But God will bless your family as a reward for your service to him. He will help things be a little easier for your family or give others the opportunity to serve your family. Your family will be blessed for your obedient acts.
You might be thinking, "That all sounds well and good, but if I don't have time for everything that is already on my plate, how can I possibly fit in time for God?" God is always there. It is always a good time for him to hear your prayers. Pray whenever you might have a moment to yourself, even if it's in the shower or driving in the car. Make a habit of reading at least one verse of scripture each day. These small efforts will be rewarded by continually keeping God's spirit with you, to help guide your daily decisions in all things. And your good decisions will help your family to grow and thrive and come together.