Who doesn’t like words and actions that evoke joy, happiness, peace, tranquility, confidence, and love? I may not be flowery in my language, but I certainly appreciate words and conversations that bring about those feelings. As partner to my wife raising four boys, ages three to 13, we like to hear our boys complement and lift each other. Things like, “Big brother, thank you for being a great example of righteousness to our family” and “little brother, I’m so proud of the boy you are and the young man you’re sure to become.” Ok, you got me. We don’t hear those things often. Don’t get me wrong, we’d LOVE to hear those things but what we usually hear are things like “it’s not FAIR that he gets to ___” and “UGH! I wish I lived in so-and-so’s house because HIS brother ____.”
Yep, that’s more like it, you might be thinking.
You know, before I had kids, I had visions of what home and family would be like. There would be perfect order, my tools would always be where they were supposed to be, dishes would always be washed immediately after meals, Legos would never liter the floor, and angels from heaven would provide the background music. For now, it’s usually the opposite that is our reality. Except for the angelic music from heaven bit. Our 10 year old just started the trumpet, so I’m sure our home will soon ring of heavenly heralding. Right, parents of 10 year old beginner trumpeters?
Lest you think I’m about to say I’m disappointed that vision and reality didn’t quite match, let me share something that sums up, perfectly, my belief about home and family:
And that’s the truth. I’ve never met a “perfect” family. I certainly know families, with and without kids, who are pretty darn fantastic. But not perfect. That’s why the teachings of Jesus Christ are THE key element to happiness in family life. I know families that are not Christian that are exceptionally happy and great examples to me and others. So I’ve asked myself, what’s the deal? How does one reconcile this line from The Family with that?
As best I can tell, it comes down to homes where Christ-like attributes are found. Those attributes include faith, hope, charity, love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, and obedience. Everything Christ taught and continues to teach in His Church can be summarized in those attributes. You see, while it can be said that those qualities are not unique to Christianity, it is true that Jesus Christ is the only perfect example of a life lived accordingly. Those are HIS teachings. Yes, they can be found replicated in other teachings of humanity, but ultimately, they are divine principles that existed before the world was.
It’s not coming to mind a day where all those things happened in unison in our home. To be honest, there are days where we feel blessed if one or two of those attributes are visible at the same time. And you know what? That’s OK. We know we have a lot of work to do, but we also know the source to which we can look for happiness in our family life. The Savior Jesus Christ. If He is the cornerstone of our homes, our foundations are made solid, whether or not Legos cover the floor.
Chris lives in Kansas where the sky is big, people are polite, and the food is comforting. By day, he works as a Marketing manager. In his free time, he serves as a Mormon bishop. Chris enjoys eating Nutella from the jar and the challenge of making it across the family room without stepping on Legos. His one natural talent: pretending to enjoy camping (he does it for the children). A convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 19, Chris loves sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others and writes about it on his blog, We Preach of Christ.