Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Families Under Covenant

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Families Under Covenant, by Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency

Between the garage and our house is a doorway. When I come home from work in the afternoon, this doorway is my portal to happiness, and is central to my favorite part of each day: coming home. After being away from my family all day—leaving before any of the children awake in the morning—all I want is to come home. Often, I'm greeted with enthusiastic cheers and hugs aplenty!

Sometimes, it seems like I enter a battlefield where my children are waging a war against their mother, my wife. In these times, I always join ranks with my wife, and we usually restore order to these restless afternoons where children are tired from being cooped up all day (having refused the outlet of outdoor play and embraced bickering and fighting as an alternative pastime).

There we stand, husband and wife, parents united in purpose against our unruly bedlamites! (NOTE: the youngest usually sleeps through these uncommon afternoon wars)

Let me carry this military metaphor a bit further. In his talk on the joys and strengths of families, President Eyring gave four suggestions to lead families heavenward. I particularly liked the third, which is to "enlist the entire family to love each other." He then shares a quote from President Ezra Taft Benson:

In an eternal sense, salvation is a family affair. . . .

Above all else, children need to know and feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated. They need to be assured of that often. Obviously, this is a role parents should fill, and most often the mother can do it best.

Don't be fooled by these occasional afternoon wars—Parents vs. Children!—we do try to have a loving home, we just sometimes forget that we need to show our love for each other ways than fighting over who gets to sit where, which toys belong to whom, and whomever left the back door open!

In February I wrote on another talk (by Elder Holland, link) that spoke of being enlisted, this time in missionary work. After exploring this call and dreaming of serving as an old man (with a beautiful white-haired wife), I concluded with:

I know that I can't sit back in a self-congratulatory mood and wait for my hair to turn white before I "Haste to the battle," as the hymn charges. I'm going to spend my time helping my little batch of future soldiers, future missionaries.

It seems that President Eyring's "call to arms" is a precursor to Elder Holland's call to missionary service, with the necessary explanation that the "call to arms" involves wrapping arms around one another in loving embraces (hugs) instead of using any kind of weapon!

When I walk through my happy doorway this afternoon, I hope to find my little loving soldiers happily playing together. If, however, I enter a battlefield, I hope I can remember that we're all on the same team and help each family member 'feel they are loved, wanted, and appreciated."

1 thought:

Maryann said...

Thanks for your help! I love you!