Spirituality in the family – Is it important

When I examine my own family, I have no recollection of a time when having a relationship with God was seen as unimportant. Recalling the other families in the community where I grew up, it is evident that spirituality in the family was seen as an integral part of the home.

It mattered not that there were various religious groups present in the community, there was hardly a home where some form of worship of God did not take place.

It is also true, that most people visited the churches, of their neighbors even though they were of a different belief background. Even though there were Hindus and Muslims in the community, there were no temples or mosques.

If however you were invited to a “prayers” by the Hindus or a feast by the Muslims, some form of family representation took place in most cases.

What is spirituality

Even if we refuse to admit it, all of us worship. We were made that way.

Even the evolutionist, who say or believe that there is no God, worships his theory and the delusive freedom that he believes it gives him.

For a dictionary’s definition of spirituality I’ll use the Cambridge edition. It defines spirituality as: “the quality that involves deep feelings and beliefs of a religious nature, rather than the physical parts of life.

My understanding of spirituality is that search for and belief in a being far superior to oneself who is all compassing and superior to all; to seek to live according to the will of that being while worshiping Him.

While millions of people worldwide may share the same beliefs about that being – the majority of whom refer to Him as God – each person’s understanding of Him differs. This may be due to the varied experience that they have had of His presence in their lives.

At the same time, they agree totally on how He should be worshiped and what constitutes obedience to Him. This fact on its own, goes a long way in determining how we live out our lives.

When we see God as one to be reverenced and obeyed and one who loves others as much as He loves us, our relationship to each other. If however, He is seen as a tyrant or a destroyer, then that is how we treat one another.

If He does not exist, then there is no need at all to be careful in our relationships since its about the survival of the fittest.

How does being spiritual affect the individual

If you read my earlier posts about my father or my mother, you would by now know that I grew up in a very spiritual household. We were all Seventh-day Adventist, although I came to learn that that was not always the case with my dad.

Anyhow, by the time I was born, he was. So I grew up knowing that my entire family had a relationship with God.

This included early morning worship, and at times, evening worship too. Every day of the week.

We would sing songs of praise to God, study passages from the scriptures and of course pray. Either my mother or father would give the meaning of the scriptures. In that way, as we matured, we came to know and understand the Biblical characters and learned lessons from their experiences.

To over arch everything, was the ten commandments. If you have never read it, It can be found in the book of Exodus, the 20th chapter.

From this we learned how God expects those who claim to be His children to behave toward Him – in the first four commandments. The last six tells how He expects us to relate to each other.

Taken seriously, I came to understand that I should honor my parents. I recall that while in primary school – yes I attended a Seventh-day Adventist Primary school – my principal oft reminded us that to honor means to obey.

Later on, I came to understand that this obedience to parents was required as long as what they commanded or required did not conflict with the requirements of God. So I did my best to be an obedient child.

(If my mom was alive she may say that she didn’t think so. ;))

Knowing that it was against the will of God that I kill my fellowman, restrained me even in times when I got really angry with someone. That’s so even today.

Adultery is a no no and I believe that you, dear reader may be personally acquainted with or knows of someone who is acquainted with the sorrows and pain of an adulterous relationship.

Just imagine what the world would be like for the individual and all society if people remained faithful to their marriage partners and refrained from sexual relations before marriage.

It would also remove all the perversions that are increasing daily.

Our prisons would be empty if this one is followed along with doing no murder. Stealing in all its forms – burglary, robbery, theft – has robbed many a soul of his freedom. Others have been dispossessed of that which belonged to them.

What about lying. Have you experienced the disappointment and sometimes trouble that a lie gets you into. And that’s whether on not you told the lie.

And then there is covetousness which is probably the root of all the others. When an individual learns to be happy for his neighbor and what he has, then she will not attempt to take it away by any means necessary.

For me, these are the basis of spirituality. If they are present in the individual – in each individual – contemplate for a moment how sweet this world would be to live in.

A spiritual family

Now, let’s say that a man and a woman, having such love for humanity and themselves, come together to form a family, what values do you think that they would pass on to their offspring?

Add to what has gone before, the love of that one Supreme God who is followed by no other. The entire family serving and worshiping One God.

That would eliminate idol worship which tend to lead to the god taking on the attributes of the one who worships it. The standards of the One God would forever remain high.

Because He is seen as High and Exalted, then His name would not be taken in vain but reverenced.

As we reverence Him, we will respect His desire to spend time with us on the day that He chose. So every 7th day we would meet in His house to worship him and to fellowship with others of like mind.

The home of a spiritual family will be a place that everyone would enjoy visiting and would even want to stay. When disagreements arise, it would be settled speedily with no desire for revenge and absolute forgiveness. I can tell you from experience that there is no sweeter peace than that which comes when forgiveness is offered and received.

There’ll be no abuse in such a home, in none of its disgusting forms.

This will be a place where everyone would want to be. Father and mother would look forward to their reunion at the end of the day. Children would find no one’s else company as sweet as their family’s and visitors would always want to visit until they themselves become a part of the family.

It’s effect on the community

Now extend such an influence on the community. I assure you that such a family will be noticed in the neighborhood. It would be almost impossible for such a home to remain unknown. It’s influence will be felt in the town or village. People will want to know why they are different.

This may come through the association of the family members with coworkers, classmates or social interaction with other community members. It may even be via business transactions.

My family was well know in our community and beyond because of my father who was a salesman. He went door to door selling vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products. When he died people who we did not know showed up at his funeral and told how they knew him. Others who had not heard of his death, were disappointed to find out that he had died and that they had been unable pay their last respects.

Though many adults did not visit our home, there were always children visiting – when our parents were at home of course. They came to play and were assured that if meal time met them there, then they would be able to share in the meal also.

My mother welcomed all but never allowed them to misbehave. They respected her like that.

Now imagine ten or fifteen homes like that in a community, influencing the other homes and families to live life differently. How much fewer will be the incidences of abuse and crime in such a place. What about community spirit and togetherness with each one looking out for the other. I once lived in a community that got close to that ideal.

Everyone did not share the same religion or beliefs but they all had a love for God which resulted in respect for others.

There was a high level of spirituality in the community then. Adults could correct and discipline children who were not biologically theirs without the fear that the parent would seek reprisals.

That has changed over the past thirty to forty years. Drastically.

A peaceful nation

And of course, there is the trickle down effect. As goes the home, so goes the community. As goes the community, so goes the country and therefore the nation.

A spiritual country would produce a spiritual leader, not so that he can force others to view things his way or the way of a particular group, but he too will have a personal spiritual relationship with God.

When that happens, the society would be encouraged to choose and follow the better path. Even those who do not believe in God would by sheer evidence, live a more peaceful, contented life.

A nation under God, truly devoted to the principles that He has set up will be blessed and protected by Him.

Racism will be a thing of the past in such a nation. So too,the other ills that plague every society and nation upon our earth today. What if you could listen to the evening news and all you can hear are reports of people outdoing each other in deeds of kindness. Not for show, but because its just natural.

This can be a reality and it can begin with one family to whom true spirituality is paramount.

‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”. Many others look toward just such a society and believe that one day it will be realized. But that’s for another post.

What do you think?

Let me know by leaving your comments in the space provided below. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

1 comment

  1. Grace - Reply

    I to am a Seventh Day Adventist. You brought back a lot of memories. As we grow older one learn to appreciate what we had and long for it now. If it’s God’s will and by sharing his love with others this can be possible again only if people are willing for God’s love to work in and through them.
    Thanks again for a wonderful article. God bless.

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