Picnicking togetherWe all have differences in opinion about how we manage our families. At the end of the day, what we all want is the same, though. We all want our families happy, healthy, and strong. We want to strengthen our unions (which is what you find yourself on this site), and we want to be the best possible parents.

Sometimes creating a strong family unit can feel like hard word. Admittedly, it is. There is nothing easy about building a strong foundation for yourself and the people you love most. It is hard work. But “hard” isn’t always a bad thing. Hard doesn’t always mean complicated. Hard doesn’t always mean, “too much to handle.” Hard can just mean that you are incredibly mindful about what you do before you do it because you know that the reach of your words and decisions are powerful.

Believe or not, making a few easy changes in your family life can make all the difference in how happy you are, how satisfied you feel in your marriage, and how successful you are at raising strong, well-adjusted kids.

Here are a few things that are easy for all families to implement. They help me on my quest to make my family unit stronger, and my hope is that they can help your family too.

1. Eat Together –  Is everyone eating dinner at a different time? Even worse, is everyone eating dinner in a different place. Make an effort to eat with your family. The meal doesn’t need to be fancy and if you can’t do it daily, that is understandable. Just try to pick 3-4 days a week where everyone eats at least one meal together. Nothing beats the benefits of good company and good food.

2. Play Together –  When was the last time your family did something fun? Do you do fun things year round? Are you under the impression that having fun is for the summer or requires lots of spending? I hope I can change your mind. Movie nights, board games, and strawberry picking are all low cost ways to have fun with family. Make fun a regular thing and work it into your family’s hectic schedule. Playing together helps a family stay together, too.

3. Pray Together – Praying changes things. Praying together moves mountains. Take the time to pray with your family before meals and also at random moments throughout the week. If someone in the family is having a rough week, sit together and say a prayer together for them. That level of love and support is priceless.

4. Talk Together –  Families need to communicate. If if doesn’t come naturally, turn it into a game. Create fun and random questions and write them on pieces of paper. Place them all in a jar and pull the jar out during dinner or dessert. The jar goes around and everyone picks a question to answer. It’s an activity I use as an icebreaker with college students, but it’s also a very easy way to help families connect without anyone feeling pressured to talk. Give it a try.