HOW TO SPIRITUALIZE YOUR HOME
This section will offer suggestions for spiritualizing your home and family life especially for families with children from birth to age twelve.
- Welcome the Presence of God into your home
- See your child as a child of God
- Give your children opportunities to express their innate spiritual nature.
- Try these ideas to spiritualize your home
How often have we thought or heard other parents say, “It’s hard to raise children today with all the influences of video games, violence on TV, and peer pressure at school!”
As loving, caring parents who are devoted to God, we want to pass on our beliefs and values to our children. How can we most effectively foster our family’s spiritual development and help our children become the people they are meant to be?
Sharing our genuine love for God with our children and encouraging them to know and welcome God into their lives is fundamental. It shows in what we do, what we say, how we treat people and in everything we do. We must be the living example of our own relationship with God.
Here are some ideas to help spiritualize your home and family life. We invite you to use these ideas as a springboard for your own ideas. Select at least one thing with the goal of bringing more spirituality into your family and commit to doing it.
Spirituality is the belief in a non-physical power greater than oneself. You can call this power God, Your Higher Self, or Light. Whatever the name, it is the same. We will call this power “God.” Putting aside religious affiliations, a spiritual person tries to establish a one-on-one relationship with God by recognizing and feeling oneness with God. You can make it a priority to develop and enhance this relationship in all aspects of your family life. Let your children see that you commune with God:
- through prayer
- through grace at meals
- through joyful songs
- through meditation and quiet time
Habits learned at home will extend into your child’s school and play experiences.
Recognize and accept God’s presence around you. Children have a special way of seeing God and His miraculous kingdom everywhere:
- in nature, in flowers and trees
- in music, in dance
- in the smile of a loved one
- in the playfulness of a puppy
- in prayer
Your child will become what you believe him to be. We all have the potential to manifest God’s goodness and beauty. If you see your child as a child of God made in His image and likeness, this is what he will become.
Children will misbehave. Teenagers will push the boundaries. These actions are normal. Yet we can continue to hold our children in the highest esteem and steadfastly hold the vision of their innate goodness. We can learn to envision the goodness and right action of our children, no matter what behavior they temporarily show. When we do this for our children, we reinforce their true nature and build their self-esteem. This helps them feel good about who they are and what they do.
“Catch” your son or daughter doing something right instead of focusing on negative behavior. Don’t expect perfection, but do expect sincere effort. When your child misbehaves or makes troubling choices, try to clearly explain consequences. And be sure to separate a child’s behavior from his true essence. Teach your child how to do well and give examples to follow.
Children are spiritual by nature and are born with a deep devotion to God and His goodness. As parents we can foster the innate spiritual nature of our children and unlock their divine potential so they may become more like God every day.
From infancy a baby will experience the essence of God through the way we talk, hold her and meet her physical and emotional needs. When we are gentle and respond with consistency and unconditional love, we build trust and the baby feels loved and learns that the world is a good place. This “goodness” is how young children experience God.
We can help children feel the presence of God by surrounding them with beautiful pictures, harmonious sounds and peaceful experiences. During the first six years especially, children absorb their surroundings and whatever their senses encounter. When we make their environment beautiful and peaceful, this is internalized into the soul. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
- Take charge of the images, sounds, and experiences you want your children exposed to, for all of this will have an influence on their well-being. Avoid distorted images, television shows that do not support family values and intense music that will take away the purity and innocence of the soul.
- Create opportunities for quiet time that will allow children to commune with God and His saints and angels.
- Play meditative music during naps, quiet time or homework.
- Take children to church and other places where people worship so they can experience the joy of community prayer.
- Make the Sabbath a holy day dedicated to worship, rich discussions and family time, even if you are not affiliated with a church.
- As a family, watch uplifting movies with moral values you support. Have a discussion, as a family, afterward about the movie. In general, limit the amount of TV that is watched.
- Plan simple service projects that include all members of your family.
Give your children every opportunity to become the special people that God intended them to be.