This is the final article in a series of five on Spiritual Solutions for the Family. The preceding four articles can be read here.
One last list of the Parenting Problems that plague us
In the first four articles of this series, we focused on groupings of parenting challenges that are solved best by the spiritual solutions available through the Restoration (Click here to read those articles.)
Now, finally, in this fifth and last article in the series, lets take a look at one final list of common problems:
- ADHD and Eating disorders
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Insecurity and loneliness
- Being blind-sided as parents:
Using the great spiritual gifts of God
Heavenly Father gives all that and more to us, His stewards and the surrogate parents (the babysitters) of His children.
He gives us his power to bless them!
He gives us guidance from His Spirit,
And He gave us all His only Begotten Son to save us.
Using the Priesthood
Every time you use the priesthood of God in your home, to bless your wife, to bless a child, even to bless your home itself, you will have a spiritual experience. The priesthood is the key to strong families. Even when you are not giving an actual blessing, think of yourself as a priesthood holder. Feel and magnify the priesthood when you pray, when you teach, when you discipline, when you comfort. Use it in the way you live. And you women share your husband’s priesthood. It is the power of your family. Think of yourself as part of it and feel it in your life and in how you raise your children and in how you pray about your children.
We don’t think we have ever met anyone who uses the priesthood too much.
We need to teach our children to ask for blessings when they need them, and to think of the priesthood as a part of family life, as a great and wonderful tool that Heavenly Father has given us to bring spiritual solutions into our home. Obviously blessings should not be given for frivolous things, but when there is a real concern, a genuine worry or need, even on something that an adult might think of as a small matter, a Priesthood blessing can be given.
A young daughter who is worried about an upcoming test, almost to a point of feeling physically ill.
A son who has a big game coming up.
A wife who has more than she can handle in the week ahead with her mother visiting and the book club meeting at her home.
A little boy who is having a hard time learning to read.
A little girl who is devastated by a fight with her best friend who is now “not speaking”
A son who is getting bullied at school.
A daughter who is not eating well and may be on the verge of an eating disorder.
A twelve year old who is troubled by an inappropriate movie he saw at a friends house.
A girl who is worried about starting Junior High.
A high school son preparing to take the SAT or the ACT
Of course you don’t bless the daughter with an “A” or the son with 20 points in the basketball game, but you follow the spirit and bless them with a focused mind or a confidence to do their best. Often, within the blessing itself, will come an answer or a prompting of an action or a way they can do more to bless themselves and to better realize their own desires.
Inviting the Spirit
It is a good idea to make a request for the Spirit to be with us a part of every family prayer, and to identify the Spirit whenever you feel it so that children become more and more familiar with what the Holy Ghost feels like and wish for Him and ask for Him in their own lives.
Elder Bednar, in an extremely interesting conference talk in April of 2010 told us that reading scriptures and bearing testimony was a good way to measure or gauge the spiritual well being of our children
Over the years we have tried literally hundreds of methods on the poor little guinea pigs at our house to teach children values, to teach them how to feel joy, to teach them responsibility and teach them the value of charity and spirituality Maybe about a dozen of those things actually worked. The others worked for a while and then fizzled out and some were outright disasters. We could write another book on these failures that which would be entertaining but maybe not be the best thing to inspire parents to do better. On the other hand maybe it would!
At any rate, if we had to pick only one thing that I could do with my children to increase their spirituality it would be have them bear their testimonies on fast Sunday. Someone gave us this idea years ago and it was reinforced by Elder Bednar’s recent talk. We realized as our children were growing up that some were too shy to bear their testimony in Testimony Meeting and others were almost too boisterous about it. We thought it would be a good idea for our children to hear our testimonies consistently and realized that a home setting was the only place where they would.
Every fast Sunday after our meetings and just before breaking our fast, we all gather in the living room for a short testimony meeting with our kids. I don’t mind admitting that the children over eight who were fasting all agreed that we should break our fast fast after our meetings, but as time went on, we all went into the family testimony meetings starving and we all left feeling well-fed. Even our three year olds got to where they wanted to say something.
Problem list Revisited
So, with these spiritual solutions in mind, lets overlay them on the problems we began with and begin to imagine the impact they can have:
- ADHD and Eating disorders: These problems are too tough to confront alone, and spiritual help is called for.
- Drugs and Alcohol: Kids who learn what a spiritual high feels like will desire a chemical one less.
- Porn: Titillation and the addiction of pornography simply can’t survive in a spiritual atmosphere (or a spirit-influenced mind.)
- Violence: Any kind of coarseness or dangerous or degrading activity or experience has little appeal to a mind that is orientated to spiritual things.
- Depression: “God hath not given the Spirit of Fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
- Insecurity and loneliness: Children who have come to think of Christ and of the spirit as real will rarely feel inadequate or alone.
- Being blind-sided as parents: Listening to our children’s testimonies and scripture reading and other spiritual activity can be an early warning signal that tips parents off about alienation or problems that may be developing
Thanks for being with us for this series of articles. Best wishes with the application of spiritual solutions in your family!
The Eyres recently released new book is 5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges*. They are the founders of Joy Schools and of valuesparenting.com and the authors of numerous best-selling books on marriage, parenting and family. Their mission statement, developed while presiding over the England London South Mission, is FORTIFY FAMILIES by celebrating commitment, popularizing parenting, bolstering balance, and validating values.
*FREE COPIES OF THE EYRES NEW BOOK: To win a free copy of the Eyres new book 5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges, simply click “comments” at the top of this article and leave a brief comment. A drawing will be held in three weeks when this current Meridian series concludes. 10 winners will be chosen at random from all comments received between now and then, so you will have 10 separate chances to win.