My wife and I were invited to a Family conference a few years ago as part of a panel discussion on conflict resolution in families. As the building block of society and the church, what happens within families is vitally important and perhaps that is why it’s always under attack. “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions!”
One of my grandmother’s catch phrases was ‘he played (H)amlet’ which she used to describe the annoyance and often over-reaction people have when they argue. Perhaps we can all relate and recall occasions when the top was left off the toothpaste (or the seat left up) and we recited a demented monologue from a Shakespearean tragedy in response.
Our contribution to the family conference discussion was more on prevention rather than cure though. For many years now, we have the practice of praying together each morning, before any fuse can be lit. As a discipline it has been transformative in our lives and it really does work; we offer the day to God, pray for mercy and forgiveness, for protection during the day, our work and activities, seek the intercession of the angels and saints, bless the house with Holy water regularly too. This morning prayer together, has become more important than breakfast. If we don’t lay the day’s foundation in prayer, someone else will, in discord.
Family prayer is often neglected nowadays and family members can often have their day ruined even before they leave the house in the morning if they go into the day unprepared or unprotected. That has been our observation. The challenge we gave to the participants was ‘try it and see’.