Family First Friday–#7
I promised you my thoughts after my post about The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce. It has been an emotionally difficult read in that I am dredging up a lot of unresolved feelings from my childhood, but more importantly, I am so deeply sad that any child has to suffer through what the children (now adults) have suffered during their childhood. Knowing the gospel perspective, spelled out pretty clearly in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it simply breaks my heart that any child would grow up in anything less than an ideal circumstance. But we also know, because earth life is a place for the growth and development of imperfect people, most children will grow up in less than ideal circumstances, and some will grow up in down right abusive circumstances.
What are we to do? The only thing we can do. Do what we can to be a better parent than we had. Learn about what children need and try our best to apply what we learn. That is why I am so very grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ!!
Because of the gospel, I know:
- I am an agent. I have choice. I can change. I do not have to do the same things my parents did. I am not only responsible for my behavior, but I can also choose my feelings and my emotions. I can control my thoughts. These things are mine to master. I can fill my mind with good and wholesome things, or I can fill it with filth. If I choose the good and wholesome things, my behaviors will follow. If I choose filth, my behavior and attitudes will follow that also. I choose to look for and strive for the ideal. I choose to see the light.
- Children are ‘an heritage of the Lord,’ and His ‘work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.’ The Lord loves children!! They are not a burden. They are a joy. (They are a lot of work and sometimes exacerbating.) But God spends all of His time and effort trying to help His children—–US. If that is how He spends His time and energy, how should I spend mine? What should my attitude be about my children? How should I treat them? The answers of course, are the way God treats His children and the way He feels about them. They are precious, each and everyone, regardless of talent, ability, beauty, wealth, just because they are here! Here are the words of our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson given at the Relief Society General Broadcast at the end of September: My dear sisters (and brothers), your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there. If you need another witness, watch this video:
- Families were created by God. He designed them for the benefit and well being of His children. A mother, a father, and children are His design. Sure, none of them are perfect and they don’t all fit the ideal exactly. We are all going to make mistakes, which is why we have repentance and change. But if we are trying to treat people the way the Savior did, we can create an atmosphere in our homes conducive to love, development and growth for all of those who dwell there.
- Our Father in Heaven knows us perfectly. He knows what choices we are going to make. Our sins are not new to Him. He knew they were coming. He has planned a way to compensate for our mistakes, all we have to do is trust Him and follow the Plan—that great Plan of Happiness that was designed for us before we ever arrived on the earth.
I did not grow up in a perfect family. My family had a LOT of issues. But because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its teachings, the family I have created is a happy place for children to grow and develop. You can do it too. It is not easy, but it is very possible. It is simply consistently living the teachings of Jesus Christ, over time, that will enable you to change the future for your family. Your children and grandchildren can have a place to grow where they are loved and valued and cherished, the way every child should be. And you can create that for them, with the help of your Heavenly Father.
Won’t you give it a try?? If you are interested, go here and invite some nice young people to come and teach you about our faith and what it can do for your family!