“It is selfish to devote our precious time to mourning over disappointed hopes, indulging in useless grief that clouds the family circle. We should be cheerful if only for the benefit of those who depend more or less upon us for happiness… It is our duty to make the best of everything, and to cultivate a habit of looking at the bright side of things. Let the cloud that shadows us pass over, while we wait patiently till the clear blue sky again appears and the blessed sunshine is revealed…Let us all forget self as much as possible, cultivate cheerfulness, seek to brighten the lives of others, and we shall then have less desire to complain of our own lot.” HP 273.3
We were discussing this passage from the pen of inspiration one morning with the kids and it was really a blessing to us.
One thing that really stood out was the idea that our mood can affect not only us as individuals but our families as well. When we get frustrated about something that feeling of frustration and agitation permeates the entire house. The negativity and sourness just travels from person to person until everyone is in a bad mood making it that much more difficult to put aside that frustration and come together as a family.
There is a similar affect when individuals within a family are disrespectful, rude or impatient with one another.
The above passage was an excellent reminder of how to be more mindful of the words that we use and the tone with which we use them. As a family, we have a responsibility to God and to one another to reflect the Character of Christ within our sacred circle. To show love, patience, meekness, humility and forgiveness toward one another.
It also really helped to be reminded that there are going to be times when we feel frustrated, irritated or disappointed but to hold on to those feelings is selfish. I am frustrated, I am disappointed, I am annoyed . The commonality in those phrases being I. How would God want us to respond in those moments…with love, with respect and with forgiveness.
Proverbs 16:24 says” Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Speaking to one another with kindness….even when we don’t feel like being kind…is not only healing to the soul; it’s healing to the body as well.
Studies have actually shown that positive family relationships can improve overall health by reducing stress, lowering your blood pressure, improving immunity (which can be weakened by feelings of loneliness), and overcoming depression. In other words, family members contribute significantly to the wellbeing of each other. The bonds that we form as a family are inextricably linked to good physical and mental health and the only way to develop deep, sincere bonds founded on love, respect and trust is through positive interactions.
We want to be more deliberate in our cheerfulness. Eliminating any unnecessary stressor or negative influence that can adversely affect our family and keeping the cross and the love of God as the foundation.
So we decided to take this challenge head on and we started by building out a list of everything that we wanted to improve on as a family. Things that we need from other members to make the home environment more pleasant, things that we’d like to do better with personally, anything that would help us maintain our little heaven on earth. We’re picking one goal to focus all of our prayer and thoughtful action on each month as we strive for higher and higher by God’s grace.