The Spiritual Family - Building Strong Families through Spirituality

A sense of spirituality manifests differently in each individual, as well as in each family. Still, regardless of how it's practiced, the overarching concept of spirituality has a bonding effect on the family

What Is Spirituality?

In a general sense, we define spirituality as a life philosophy or approach to life that includes and focuses on spiritual concepts. Spirituality embraces the idea of a human spirit or soul, and seeks to achieve the best state for the soul. As spiritual people, we believe in a higher power, and we practice a set of disciplines and behaviors that bring us closer to this higher power.

People who are spiritual don't necessarily belong to a mainstream religion. But they do seek to improve their lives and to become better people who positive and loving.

How Does Spirituality Build Strong Families?

A strong sense of spirituality - and a spirituality that is shared within the family - can create the strongest of family bonds. And it can create the foundation for a successful and happy life that will endure for generations.

Consider how a focus on spirituality naturally endows:

* Forgiveness - Spirituality teaches forgiveness. This is crucial in families, where several people live together under one roof. Knowing how to receive and give forgiveness helps families deal with the inevitable glitches of family life.

* Focus on a higher power - A focus on something higher than yourself helps you break out of a self-centered approach to life. This is conducive to greater harmony in the family, and encourages family members to give of their time and abilities.

* Tolerance and patience - These concepts are components of spirituality. Learning how to be patient and tolerant of other family members is essential to a strong and harmonious family. Everyone makes mistakes; it's how we deal with those mistakes that makes the difference. Spiritual families teach these concepts.

* A sense of belonging - When everyone in a family is drawn together over a common belief system, it gives family members a sense of belonging. Family members see themselves as a unit under the umbrella of a higher belief system.

* Encourages gratitude - Spirituality fosters a sense of gratitude. Because spiritualists acknowledge a higher power, they see the good things in life as blessings and gifts to be appreciated.

* Rituals and behaviors - Practicing the same rituals and behaviors bonds families. If hiking in the woods is a spiritual experience for you and your family, it can become a habitual behavior that you all engage in periodically. It becomes something you share together, which brings family members closer.

* Emphasis on spiritual things - Families that are spiritual do not emphasize material things or appearances. They look beyond the physical, making them more accepting of others in general. A family that does not place importance on material things would be less subject to fights over toys or other items, for example.

* Love for one another - Loving each other is the most important component of a strong, bonded family. Spirituality teaches love for one another, family members included.

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