Lent 2017 // Day Seventeen

Image by justloveprints.com

Image by justloveprints.com

Unity in Families


In 2014, I married the love of my life. The day after we got married, I hopped on a plane and moved to London (where my husband was already living), leaving my parents and siblings behind and going off to form my own household.

The transition from single to married isn’t the easiest. Two people, raised by two different families, have to somehow form their own. Taking some traditions and ideas from one family, some from the other, and making some up on their own. Then, just as you’ve got it figured out (maybe?) kids enter the mix, and you’ve got a whole new set of challenges trying to decide how to parent.

No wonder so many marriages and families fall apart! It can be overwhelming and easy to say “this is too hard” and throw in the towel. It can be easy to think that your spouse doesn’t understand. It can be easy to talk bad about them to family or friends. When conflict arises between your childhood family and the family you’ve made, who do you side with?

In this passage from Luke, Jesus explains how a household that is divided will fall, and while he is rebuking the pharisees for accusing him of working in the name of a demon, the point is still one I think all families should take personally.

The most important aspect of every person’s life on this earth is their family. And each of us have a responsibility to work towards unity and peace in our families. For those of us who are parents, it is probably our greatest work. When I think about my daughter, I feel desire in my heart for her to be raised in a united home, and for me, that unity can’t be achieved without faith. It seems to me that the best way to cultivate unity in your family is to cultivate a family faith life and tradition.

Do all of you attend Mass together every Sunday?

Do you pray together during the week?

Do you talk about your faith on a regular basis? I’ll admit that I am not the best at all of these, but I am working on it, because I want my household to be united, and I want that unity to come from Jesus.

For those of you who are single, this still applies to you! How can you bring unity to your families? How can you unite with your mother, father, and siblings? Even if they aren’t Catholic, even if you don’t speak to them for valid reasons, you can promote family unity by praying for them.

Even if our earthly families are broken and imperfect, remember that God desires YOU as His child. You were chosen to be united to Him. If you are one of those people who doesn’t really have a family here on Earth, take comfort and draw close to the Lord. You will never be withouta household when you are in him.

Reflect: Think about the unity (or disunity) in your family growing up. How did that affect you?

Act: Take time to pray for your family today. 

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