A Guide to Living With Each Other in an Understanding Way

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Does your family know what it means to live with each other in an understanding way? Do the silly spats between you and your husband drive you crazy? Do the ongoing sibling conflicts leave you exhausted and depleted? Do the “he’s bothering me,” and the “she hit me,” type comments never end?

No worries, you’re not alone if you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions. I was forced to get creative a few years ago, and it has worked like a charm.

What about developing a simple yet concise mantra for your family? I’ve heard family mantras like: “Be the same person you are when you walk through the door as you were when you left,” and, “We are the (insert last name) family, and we always will be.”

living with each other

This is our family mantra: we are choosing to live with each other in an understanding way.

I think this simple idea could be an underlying theme to every family. For this reason, feel free to adopt our family mantra as your own.  After all, what else could be more vital to the heartbeat of a family?  Wouldn’t we all get along better if we:

  • sought out to understand rather than to judge
  • looked to seek information rather than to jump to conclusions
  • paused before we spoke
  • offered forgiveness, even if it wasn’t asked for
  • extended grace whether it was deserved or not
  • gave others the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming the worst
  • spoke less, listened more

This was a list that we came up with together as a family when we talked about what it means to live with each other in an understanding way.

It is no coincidence that these are so basic, so straightforward, so elementary, yet so difficult at the same.  Living in an understanding way means living less in self mode while living more in others mode.  Even if all we did was focus on one of these principles a day, even just three times a day, perhaps at morning, noon, and night, wouldn’t there be a lot more understanding in our homes?

My challenge to myself is to take one of these seven concept a day and make it my own.  To live intentionally by making the choice to control my mouth, my demeanor, and even my thoughts around the ones I live with. As moms, it is vital that we realize that we are the tone-setters in our family, and as a result, we lead the way to living with each other in an understanding way.

What simple steps could you add to this list?

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