Do you wish your family was more spiritual, peaceful, and fulfilled? These five tips for spirituality are effective and easy to incorporate — and they’ll quickly become healthy habits for you and your family!
Before the tips, a quip:
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” ~ Stephen R. Covey.
It doesn’t matter if your family isn’t “spiritual”, you never attend church or religious services, or you don’t know how to pray together. Your imagination and vision of a spiritual family is more important than your history together! To learn about being more united and connected, read Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. And, here are several ways to create more spirituality in your family life…
How to Have a More Spiritual Family – 5 Tips for Spirituality
These tips focus on a “family” as defined as a husband, wife, and children. If you have a different definition of family, please comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
1. Remember that different families are spiritual in different ways. Maybe the couple next door prays every night as husband and wife, or the kids in your daughter’s class meditate while doing yoga. Maybe your brother-in-law is a rabbi who thinks you shouldn’t eat cheeseburgers, or your coworker is a Muslim who makes the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It can be confusing and even frightening to think of all the different ways to practice spirituality…unless you remember that every person (and family) is free to choose his or her own path. If you want to have a more spiritual family, don’t get caught up in other people’s spirituality. Focus on your own journey.
2. Create something new together in a weekly family time. Happy families create positive things that weren’t there before – they don’t just problem-solve, writes Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. Effective families focus on new goals, new options, new ways of doing things. To be more spiritual, set weekly family times that build memories, create positive energy, and meet physical, social, spiritual, and economic needs. For instance, start a weekly “games night” or “clean up the neighborhood night.” You don’t necessarily need to talk about your spirituality for the whole evening, but it might be helpful weave your beliefs and values in somehow.
3. Pick your spiritual battles. Some parents insist that their kids attend church or Sunday School every week, while others let the kids decide. Some families practice spirituality by praying and reading Scripture together, while others talk about God or their beliefs irregularly, and more casually. Some activities that appear spiritual – church attendance, for example, or praying every night – may look more spiritual than they actually are. It depends on your heart, your attitude. Thus, some “spiritual activities” may not be worth forcing, while others are (such as open and honest discussions about our spiritual and soul beliefs).
4. Take turns saying grace before passing the peas. Eat dinner together as a family as often as you can! The University of Minnesota’s Project EAT revealed that family meals are linked with higher academic performance, greater psychosocial well-being and a reduced risk of unhealthy weight loss behaviors. Another study from the same university revealed that girls who eat family meals in a positive environment are less likely to diet chronically, use weight loss pills, or struggle with eating disorders. Before eating your family meal, make it a habit to say grace and bless your food, family, and friends. This not only acknowledges a higher source of power, it strengthens your spiritual connection as a family.
5. End the day with your highs and lows. Before you go to bed every night, discuss the ups and downs in each family member’s life. Look for the good in the bad, and consciously strive to talk about how God or Jesus Christ (or your source of inspiration or higher power) affects your everyday life. This tip for spirituality will help you accept and understand that everyone in the family experiences highs and lows in life. Talking honestly and openly as a family can help you relate to each other, brainstorm solutions to each other’s problems, and learn more about one another. These evening discussions can be a great time to discuss your spiritual goals as a family!
If you have any questions or comments on creating a more spiritual family, please share below…