My husband and I discovered how to build relationships with our children and encourage their relationship to God through a combination of the grace of God, parental intuition and perhaps a dash of sheer luck.
In order to nurture authentic Catholic family life, we learned that we had to first nurture our own intimacy with God. When parents are in communion with the Trinity (who are the first community), our children are also drawn into a spiritual relationship with their parents and in turn with God as well. A blessed home, dedicated to God, could actually be called a tabernacle because it is filled with a tangible Presence of God. When we give God permission to be Lord of our lives, our children and our family life, then the Holy Spirit is in the very air we breathe.
The image God gave me of Christian family was a triangle of light with strong bars of light flowing from the heart of the mother and father at the base and up to God at the top of the pinnacle, with the children protected in the middle of the triangle. The light of God’s love filled the triangle protecting and nurturing the children. This is a vision of family as a community, submersed in the community of the Trinity.
This atmosphere is not something a parent can manufacture in their own strength; if we try, we end up creating a phony, religious atmosphere that will stifle little ones rather than nurture them in Love. No, we surrender to God and allow Him to be the Lord of our homes by consecrating our house to Him. It is wonderful when a priest can bless our homes with holy water, dedicating our house to God with a physical, tangible ceremomy, a visible symbol of what we have already asked for in our hearts. His presence is tangible when we welcome Christ as Head of our homes; we can play and laugh and simply be with our children when we give God control over our family. No need to try too hard or force religion down their throats because Jesus is present with all of us, in communion, living in community with us and teaching moments flow naturally in our daily lives.