Monday, August 1, 2011

Two Challenges for the Family Home

 

child with flag

By Shiloah Baker

“A nation is what its homes are. With these it rises and falls, and it can rise no higher than the level of its home life.” –Stephen Wise

There are two challenges today’s Christian families face, the first is how to enjoy modern conveniences and still maintain the spirit of the home.

The second is how to make a difference in our nation with our family. We can are making choices each day to either support our nation or not, but we are asked by our Heavenly Father to be involved. By choosing to ignore the happenings in our nation we are unsupportive by default. So, how can we as a family make a difference?

Let us begin with the first challenge of enjoying modern conveniences and still maintaining the spirit of the home. Today we enjoy luxuries that no one in history has enjoyed. Luxuries include but are not limited to the machines in our home that do the work for us such as the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, stoves, and the list goes on. Your great-great grandmother would have to light a fire, carry a large, heavy kettle to the river and back to heat the water to wash the laundry. Dinners were cooked over a fire. If any of our ancestors of old were to wake up in your place they would certainly think they woke up in an enchanted fairy land.

We are blessed not to have to work as hard as our ancestors, but what are we doing with all that saved time? Hard work is still a necessary part of physical and emotional health. We teach our family good healthy habits by continuing to work around the house and stay active and involved instead of sitting around watching hours of television or playing video games. Boredom is a state of mind. We can teach our families through example that when the work is done, you feel like enjoying leisure time and you deserve it. Leisure time is far more enjoyable when it is earned.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” {H. Jackson Brown Jr.} This really makes you think, if we don’t have enough “time” to do the important things in life, then maybe we are finding the time for the wrong things. Our children watch us very carefully and anyone one of them can give an accounting of what we do with our time better than we can.

With our time accounted for and a good schedule created for ourselves and family we can make sure that family teaching and together time becomes foremost in our lives. Sadly, this is not the priority of the average family of today and if it were there would be less crime, less emotional illness, less sadness, less teenage pregnancy, and the list goes on. While it may be a challenge to do, the modern family can still maintain the spirit of home and family.

The second challenge is how we as a family can make a difference in our nation. In our average daily lives we are running from here to there and are trying just to keep the basics of home and family afloat. There are ways, even with our busy schedule that we can support and make a difference in our nation.

James Madison, who is known as the “Father of the Constitution” stated in the Federalist Papers that there had to be “sufficient virtue among men for self-government.”

Dallin H. Oaks said, “It is part of our civic duty to be moral in our conduct toward all people. There is no place in responsible citizenship for dishonesty or deceit or for willful law breaking of any kind.

Citizens should also be practitioners of civic virtue in their conduct toward government. They should be ever willing to fulfill the duties of citizenship. This includes compulsory duties like military service and the numerous voluntary actions they must take if they are to preserve the principle of limited government through citizen self-reliance. For example, since U.S. citizens value the right of trial by jury, they must be willing to serve on juries, even those involving unsavory subject matter. Citizens who favor morality cannot leave the enforcement of moral laws to jurors who oppose them.”

Other ways we can support the nation in which we live are: voting, paying taxes, support local and national leaders, and be patriotic. What is patriotism? Patriotism is putting your country before yourself.

If we strive to meet these two challenges of today’s family home head on, we strengthen not only our families, but ourselves, our communities, and our country. Let us each set the example of a good, virtuous, loving family home and make a difference in our world.

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Shiloah Baker is a mom of eight, married to the man she’s madly in love with. Exercise is her vice. She runs the Homemaking Cottage & Co. and homeschools. Lover of religion classic books, children, and beautiful home decor. Writer of homemaking articles and Relief Society activities