- True, consistent faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.
- An example of obedience. Nothing is more unsettling than seeing our own children emulate our sins and weaknesses. Any disobedience on our part undermines the faith of our children. If children and parents are taught one thing at Church, and a parent willingly, knowingly and unapologetically goes counter to those standards, it takes the temper out of a child’s steel. We will all make mistakes, but if we learn to apologize to our children and strive to do better, the temper in their steel can be restored.
- The Holy Ghost is the honored guest, not just an occasional visitor.
- Meaningful, daily prayer and regular, patient scripture study—where parents as co-captains ply an ocean of stories and truth.
- Memorable family nights and regular personal interviews by dad (rubbing my daughter's feet while interviewing her goes a long way in terms of her attention span).
- The eyes of the children will be on the temple if the parents eyes are on the temple, too, and if the parents attend often and enthusiastically.
- Fasting is done with a spiritual purpose—it's not just starvation with an opening and closing prayer.
- Talking is communicating and parents know how to apologize to their children and to each other.
- Patience prevails with kindness and attention as well as support in trials and illness.
- There is more concern over being right with your wife or husband than in merely being right.
- The television is off more than it is on.
- Family members are making progress towards worthy goals, with the encouragement and support of others in the home.
- Their children know their parents’ conversion story.
- Behavior and decisions are not controlled or forced, but the desire to follow the word and prophets of God is irresistible.
- With broken hearts and contrite spirits, we observe our covenants by sacrifice (D&C 97:8). The word sacrifice means "to make sacred."
- There is no need to hide on the wrong side of our weaknesses, the wrong side being where we try to cover our sins and errors and weaknesses with fig leaves rather than letting Christ's atonement cover a “multitude of sins” for us.
- In this life, we do not find perfection, only the path to it.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Christ-Centered Home
One of our stake visitors for ward conference suggested that I publish the list of characteristics of a Christ-centered home from my talk. Here is a list of some things you will find in a Christ-centered home (not all of which got read over the pulpit):