Building a strong family life is an important task of families of all sizes and backgrounds. Trying to establish strong family ties is difficult in our secular world today. All too often today we read about one family member killing or injuring another family member. The family must be the core that holds society together.
I found some quotes dealing with what some great minds thought family life should look like. I present them to you to see if your family can meet these ideals.
Bob Ladouceur, a De la Salle High School football coach in Concord, California said, “Our tradition calls for a commitment to accountability. This is not an assumption – this is a promise that I will be there for you; and I can count on you being there for me.” Family members are accountable to each other. The more privileges we have, the more we are responsible to each other. The security of a family depends on our being responsible to each other.
Sir Josiah Stamp, an English economics who died in 1941 said, “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” Applying this to the family, if a child has no responsibilities when growing up in a family and gets everything handed to him or her “on a silver platter,” this is the type of person who will probably be crippled for life and never want to move out of their parents’ house.
Brad Henry, a former governor of Oklahoma, said, “Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” No one has a perfect family. All of our families are a little dysfunctional. However, if we listen to what our parents are trying to tell us, evaluate it and apply it to our lives, we will probably be better off.
American writer, Deb Caletti, described the role of love in a family. She said, “That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.” Parents usually “pick up their children” when they have fallen. True love is stronger than mistakes. However, we all must learn from our mistakes. If love exist among members of a family, you will usually find a happy home, not a perfect home, but happy one.
Virginia Satir, an American Author who is known especially for her approach to family therapy, once said, “Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.” We are not supposed to be carbon copies of our parents. We will pick up some of their similar traits but God has made each of us different – with special gifts and characteristic. Each family member must get in touch with their own giftedness, develop it, and use it for the common good.
A French Proverb says, “Children have more need of models than critics.” Children see horrible models on television and the movies. They first need to see their parents and other adults as models. If parents are never around, they will be poor models. Being a model is more important than making a lot of money.
Desmond Tutu, a South African Anglican cleric and theologian known for his work as a human rights activist, reminds us, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” In another place he said, “God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.”