April 29, 2019

Weekly Reflection – Family “Moat”

Weekly Reflection – Family “Moat”

Do you have a family “moat?” Reverend Drew Wood of Sugar Land, Texas recently published some thoughts on the family. I was particularly taken by his suggestion that “All parents must create a kind of moat around their home.” His thoughts are as follows (slightly edited by me).

“It is incumbent upon husbands and wives, mothers and dads, and single parents to spend time in prayer, discernment, and dialogue about the kind of family they will be. Family and home do not automatically happen. The demands and pressures of modern life often dictate the pace and substance of family life, and the family seems helpless and simply reacts to this frantic pace.

“The challenge for the family is not to succumb but to be proactive and intentional about the kind of family they are choosing to be. After that, a response to modern society can be wisely, prudently, and intelligently made. The process of discernment is first and always receptive, prayerfully seeking direction from God and inspiration through the Scriptures. Decisions about family life will of course never to too rigid or inflexible, always open to reevaluation as life grows and changes. Every family will be different in its needs and aspirations. But proper discernment will always make room for family prayer, shared meals, shared faith dialogue, shared charity, and a certain discipline in family life that allows for these virtues to happen.

“All parents must create a kind of moat around their home. Every effort simply MUST be made to keep evil outside: anger, rage, abuse, active addictions, and the dark side of modern technology. Within the home, the parents will nurture gentleness, affection, active listening, prayer, humor, fun, diligence, study and some measure of solitude and meditation. Families will safeguard against the compulsion to over-commitment and will strive to say ‘no’ while saying ‘yes’ always to God.

“Families are so precious and the key to virtuous, joyful living. Everything we do for the family will be for the glory of God. It is not easy today. But prayer, courage, and intentionality will change the world and bring joy to the faces of our children and our community.”

So this week I encourage us all to consider how effective our family “moat” is and how proactive we are being in nurturing the “right stuff” within the home. Another metaphor of the family might be that of a tropical island surrounded by a sea full of sharks. Do not go into the water! Our future depends on it.

Blessings and peace,

Chaplain Allen


Read more reflections, Broken People