I've been thinking about Family Home Evening ever since listening to Elder Bednar's talk in General Conference. When he was mentioning his boys' outbursts, it rang so familiar to what I hear in my own household. I've even allowed it to stop me from doing what I know I should do.
If you missed his talk, here is the part to which I refer:
"Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered if our efforts to do these spiritually essential things were worthwhile. Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts such as “He’s touching me!” “Make him stop looking at me!” “Mom, he’s breathing my air!” Sincere prayers occasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking. And with active, rambunctious boys, family home evening lessons did not always produce high levels of edification. At times Sister Bednar and I were exasperated because the righteous habits we worked so hard to foster did not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted and expected." (Elder David A. Bednar, "More Diligent and Concerned at Home," General Conference, October 2009).
I want more peace in my home, and more harmony. I want my kids to quit trying to find creative ways to bug each other and to just play nicely together for a while. I want them to listen to me and my husband, and to do as they're asked. I want the spirit to be able to abide in my home. I know that one way I can open the door for the spirit to bring these good feelings to my family is through Family Home Evening.
My Family Home Evenings have consisted of taking the whole family out to Christopher's T-Ball games, trying to get everyone to sit in the same room to have dinner and *maybe* a little conversation, or in popping some popcorn and having a game night. I know these are fun or convenient, and we're all together as a family, but my goal is to now implement more spirit into these nights. Nothing is wrong with popcorn and a game, but we can certainly start with a prayer and scripture to set the evening apart from other weekday evenings.
I have a strong testimony of the eternal nature of the family, and I know that we were given Family Home Evening as a strong tool to use to keep our family on the right path. We just need to use the tool rather than let it sit on the shelf because our kids refuse to breathe the same air some nights.