In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities. We need to make our homes a place of refuge from the storm, which is increasing in intensity all about us. Even if the smallest openings are left unattended, negative influences can penetrate the very walls of our homes
Each of us is in a different family situation. Some families have a mother and father with children at home. Some couples no longer have children at home. Many are single, and some are single parents. Others are widows or widowers living alone. No matter what our family looks like, each of us can work to strengthen our own families or help in strengthening others.
We can start strengthening our families by bridging the distance. I grew up in a home that was filled with love, laughter and lots noise. Family dinners last for hours as we discussed our days, listened to jokes or whatever was bothering each other. As each of us went our separate ways, we have been able to maintain close ties with each other. We sent cards for no reason, other than to say, "I thought about you today". We meet at least once a month, usually at mom and dad's house, to enjoy each others company. We make sure that everyone in family knows that they are important and loved. We let each other know that they are appreciated.
Are you proud of your family? Another indicator of a strong family is that members are proud to belong to the family. They are committed to each other and the family as a unit. Family members think of each other as friends with whom they can talk and have fun. They enjoy each other as individuals and like being together. They recognize that functioning together as a family is not always easy — there is conflict, things are not perfect — but they work at making family life more enjoyable and satisfying.
Strong families do not just happen. They are built over time from many little parts. Most of these are simple everyday occurrences, things we share with one another within our families.