I bet that when you hear the words "seventh heaven" you probably think of one of two things. First, there is the phrase "living in seventh heaven". Then there is also a popular TV show with the title "7th Heaven". Well, in this article, both apply.
I have often wondered if people are telling the truth when they say that they are living in seventh heaven. To me that phrase means that their lives are perfect, and in this day and age I find that really hard to believe. But you would be surprised at how often I hear people use that phrase. I think that the idea of living in seventh heaven is a great one, and one that all people should strive for, but realistically that is usually not how real life is.
I was watching an episode of the TV show 7th Heaven the other day and I think that it was that show which gave me the idea for this article. I feel that the show contradicts on purpose. It displays the lives of a Protestant Christian family whose father is the minister of the local church. Each episode is full of daily challenges that most families face at one point of another in their lives, In the end they show how you can deal with everyday problems as a family in a Christian manner. I think that the reason that I enjoy watching this show so much is because they do not candy coat problems. They work together as a family to get through anything that stands in their way. I feel that as Catholic Christians our family lives should be handled in the same way.
I can only speak from my own personal experiences in my family, but I also have listened to other people who have shared their problems with me. I find it funny how each individual chooses to handle these unfavorable events that pop up in their lives from time to time. As for me and my family there is a mixture. I am a devout Catholic Christian, my children are being raised as Catholic Christians, but my husband right now is in what I call "no mans land". He is a wonderful husband and father and he does believe in God and in the precepts of the Catholic Church, but for some reason he is resisting the call to come home to the Catholic Church. So with that being said, you will understand why at times problems that arise in our home are often dealt with differently. But they are always dealt with in love, compassion and Christian understanding. Even though my husband is not in the Church he still runs this family on Christian values.
Everyone dreams of living a life free from all problems and stresses of this world, but in reality that kind of life doesn't exist. I am not saying that all of life is gloom, doom, and dread. What I am saying is that Satan is a very real figure and roams the earth with the intention of causing family unrest, and it is up to us to pull together as one and unite all of our love that we have for each other together so that we can fight all of the problems that Satan tries to cause us. I have watched so many families fall apart because they choose to fight these battles on their own, without relying on each other and on God to help them through it. I am a firm believer that without God you will be destined to fall, and without the love and strength of your family, there is no way that you can even come close to living in seventh heaven.
The love of family is a precious gift that God has given us. It is a gift that we are to handle with the greatest of care, because even though it can be as strong as an ox, it can also be as fragile as fine bone china. It is a gift that can continue to grow and expand if tended to and nurtured, or it can wither up and die, if it is left alone and forgotten. I believe that when it is unattended to then it is at that point that Satan tries to enter in and stir up trouble. In order for the family to be able to rise above and be successful to any problems that show up then we must be prepared. The way that you prepare yourself and your family is through love, prayer, and devotion to God.
Love is a very mighty tool and it is one that is vital in order for your family to be able to function in a way that is Godly, because God is love, true love. We are to strive to be Christ like, and in order to be Christ like we have to try and have the love Christ has for us. Even though there is no human way that we can have as much love as God has, we still need to strive to make the most out of all the love that He allows us to have. We are to take that love and apply it to our families so that they can grow in a way that will be pleasing to God.
Prayer is another very important tool to use in our families, it allows us to have that one on one talk with God to be able to focus directly on Him and to tell Him all of the problems that we are having, and to ask Him to show us how to deal with them in a way that gives Him honor and glory. Praying individually and as a family are very important, because when we pray individually we have that one on one audience with God. When we pray as a family not only do we share our problems with God, but we also allow our families to hear our pleas and allow them to also take our intentions before God themselves. This also allows them to know that there is something that we are struggling with and it allows them to pray and ask God to give us the strength to get through them.
Devotion to God is in my opinion is the most important tool that we can use as a family to become strong. God is the one that put us here. He is the one that created everything that you see around you. He is the one that put love in your heart. He is the one that we can go to in our time of need. There is nothing that God can't do. All we have to do is go to Him with a humble heart and ask. You have to be aware though that even though your prayer intention may not be answered in the way that you want it, it will always be answered. It will be answered in the way that God feels would be best for that particular situation. It is up to us to accept His answer to our request, and not question what the outcome is, because God is the one in control, and He will never do anything to His children to hurt them.
I often will hear people make the comment, 'I can't believe that God allowed this bad thing to happen to us," or "Why did God not answer my prayer?" Well, dear friend, I am here to tell you that God never leaves you alone. He is always there with you, and He does not cause bad things to happen to us. He gives us free will, and even though we may make bad decisions with that free will, He is still always there with us, all we have to do is call out His name.
In closing I want to tell you that even though this world is not designed for us to live in true seventh heaven. It is designed for us to make the best of all the different situations that we face. When we truly give our all to God, and allow Him to take over the driver seat and we follow His direction's we can come close to experiencing what seventh heaven might feel like.
Copyright 2009 Anne Chester
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