Last week we began a series of articles discussing how to be happy. The greatest happiness can be found within the walls of family life IF concern for one another ranks as a paramount part of that family. It's funny how when we stop to think deeply, how clear it becomes that selfishness (whether within a family or without) never was, nor can, be "happiness."
But there are so many unhappy families! It hurts at times to think of the amount of abuse that exists, especially towards children. (I find it a bit ironic how at funerals we are so kind to the "dearly departed," and yet while the person was living, we were so hasty with our words.)
But happiness really can exist in our families...with practice. And it is oh, so so worth it! Have you recently sat down to play a game with your kids? Forget the quarrels, forget the different (and at times quixotic) perspectives that make up their personalities. Forget all that and simply sit down to play a game of any kind. Laughter is a healing glue that can bind families together in marvelous ways.
There is another kind of family glue that is powerful and potent. It is the glue of fidelity, loyalty, otherwise called faithfulness.
All too often faithfulness is seen as a dinosaur of the past in movies and television, in magazines and books. And it's far too often laughed at, viewed as old-fashioned. But "the new morality" is only appealing when it's someone else's spouse that cheats. Come home one day to find your spouse with another...and it's suddenly not funny at all. You find those sitcoms lied. The heartache is real and the devastating blow is felt for generations.
In this series of articles on "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," this week the paragraph I have pondered from that document is this:
"We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
It is not too difficult a thing to see--IF it happened to you--that the breakup of the family is huge. It is not funny. It is serious. If it has happened in your own home, you know. While cheating may be a casual occurrence in modern-day media, on a personal level it hurts and is destructive.
Societies are founded necessarily on trust: trust that a cop is a good one, trust that your government actually seeks your wellbeing not your money, and especially trust that your parents won't abuse you, but instead nurture you. Finally, trust that your spouse values you and refuses to look at another woman.
Such elementary things, and yet they are the crux upon which a successful society remains! This series of articles hopes to help you build joy in your family and to help you have fun with those you love. Sign up for the newsletter to learn when the next article appears!