"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith [and] prayer."
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
If faith is an important part of having a successful family, then I think it is important to understand what faith is. In Hebrews 11:1 from the New Testament, faith is described as a "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
In the Book of Mormon we read that "faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21).
The dictionary version of faith Google gave is that faith is "complete trust or confidence in someone or something."
This definition and the scriptures brought to my memory Indiana Jones. Now I honestly can't remember this movie very well, but I do remember this Jones character had to face a test of faith. He knew there was a bridge crossing a great chasm, and yet the bridge was invisible until he took the first step. Faith is a vision of something you hope for, you hope it is good or real, but it is not something you don't have complete knowledge of.
There is a correlation between faith and the quality of family life. "Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever you work toward a worthy goal, you exercise faith. You show your hope for something that you cannot yet see" (True to the Faith). When a family has hope or beliefs that they are all unified on, this gives the family strength, purpose, and direction.
If you have been reading my blog faithfully, you might remember how I shared a quote from Randall Ridd about the power of having direction in life. The idea was shared that a rower will have no energy to row if he or she doesn't have a destination in mind. When the rower has a destination in mind, they are able to go forward with more vigor. Faith gives us that vigor. We have a view of something we hope for, and faith is the energy that keeps us working toward it.
|Our daughter's first trip to go into the temple.|
There are three dimensions of faith that are explained in the book I am reading, "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives," they are religious community, religious practices, and religious beliefs. I can see how these three dimensions have played out in my own life. I have faith that through the covenants my family has made in the temple that we can be sealed as a family forever. That means that when this life is over I will still get to be Clark's wife, I will still get to be my children's mother, I will still get to be my parents' daughter, etc. We can be linked together forever. There will not be a "'til death do us part."
Those are my beliefs, and those beliefs are strengthened as I am active in my religious community. This community also helps to shape and influence my children; teaching them morals and values that will help my children grow into good adults that will have families of their own.
|Our son's baptism|
We then continue to strengthen our faith and beliefs as we practice our religion. Our lives are influenced for the better as we live our faith. In the marriage and family book it shares how a study found that "highly religious teenagers appear to be doing much better in life than less religious teenagers" (p.190). I believe this is the case because the teenagers have a view of what the purpose of life is. They have a direction to take in life because of their faith.
I hope that my children will continue to see life through eyes of faith, because I know as they turn their hearts toward God they will have the vigor and energy to press forward and make the most of life.