Is it true that “the family that prays together, stays together”? I’ve witnessed families who pray together split apart, and families who don’t pray or even go to church together stay together. Why? Well, have you ever heard the family who plays together, stays together? It occurred to me that those who play together are more likely to stay together.
If a family’s prayer life is primarily motivated by religious duty and pride, then the family is merely going through the motions and will most likely not develop deep relationships with each other or with God. What is a family without relationship? And I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, I’m sure all prayer and no play is the same, and who wants to be around a dull boy?
While not all families who play together play nice, most families who play together generally learn and tend to practice things like patience, teamwork, yielding to one another by taking turns, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and love. Families who play together usually have fun and enjoy one another. When parents play with their children and with each other, they are saying, “I love spending time with you. I enjoy being with you. You’re fun to hang out with. You’re worth my time.”
So am I saying praying together isn’t important? Oh no! Not at all! Families who pray together out of a genuine love and concern for each other, as well as those outside of family, are more likely to build relationships, not to mention reap spiritual benefits. And I believe they are more likely to play together, enjoy each other, and stay together, too!
Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
So get out there, make merry, heal a broken spirit, and build richer relationships! Go play!