Uganda: Mama’s World – Creating Family Traditions Is Important

black-family-richBy Eunice Musiime is a common sight, especially in the rural areas, to see flocks of people making their way to church on Sunday or other religious days. I would say I fall in this category of regular churchgoers. In three months, I probably miss church only twice at the most, which usually happens when I am out of town.

However, this particular Sunday morning I didn’t feel like getting up to go to church. I reasoned that once in a while it is ok to skip church. In fact I had a hectic week ahead so I was more than justified to sleep in and get some extra rest.

As I debated silently in my head, my little one walked in and asked me to find for him his black suit which he had decided to wear to church. He added that I should get up quickly so that we don’t get late for church. I had been given marching orders that I had no choice but to respect.

While I had been contemplating, the children clearly knew that as one of those established family traditions, it was a must to go to church every Sunday. Family traditions are practices or beliefs that create positive feelings and are repeated at regular intervals.

They’re more than routines, which are ordinary, everyday activities that require no special behaviour and involve little emotion. Often, traditions are handed down from generation to generation, but every family can create its own traditions as well. Some traditions are based on God’s commandments, such as praying before meals. Others come from cultural or ethnic heritage.

Meaningful family traditions provide parents with an invaluable tool for carrying out their divine responsibility to rear children in love and righteousness. As families establish and follow traditions, each family member is strengthened and the family as a whole grows in unity and love.

By creating traditions that bring the family closer to God, parents can strengthen the bond between family members, fortify commitment to religion, and teach important principles they want their children to understand and live by. A common cry these days is about how the family unit is under attack.

It is argued that the strands that used to hold us together have been broken leading to what family scholars call “entropy.” In the physical sciences, entropy is the tendency of a physical system to lose energy and coherence over time, such as a gas dissipating until it’s all but gone.

As William Doherty explains in The Intentional Family, an “entropic family” is one that loses its sense of emotional closeness because members neglect the family’s inner life and community ties.

One of the ways to address this family crisis is to establish family traditions. We should aim for a moderate number of traditions. We can also seek to establish new traditions. For example, you make Saturdays daddy’s day to make breakfast with the kids. Remember that every family is unique; do what works for you.

Also don’t overwhelm the family with new traditions. Pick one or two and see how things go. We must make sure we have spiritual traditions. Traditions that bring family members closer to God should be a family’s first priority.

Some of the simplest spiritual traditions include praying together, having regular family activity nights, reading sacred writings together, and holding regular family spiritual sessions.

Categories: Family

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