The most important structure in our society, and even maybe in the universe, is the family. The concept of marriage and family is not a human invention but a divine one. God created a prototype of what He was. He is a God manifested in three persons: God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit.
When God said “let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” (Genesis 1: 26,27), He was creating an image of what He Himself was, through the marriage of Adam and Eve, that is, a God who lives in community. In this sense, God is also a family unit. The Kingdom of God is made up of families. When He decided to create this world, He started with a family.
The family is the main cell of a society; It is that structure that works as a foundation basis of the values, beliefs and virtues are in its members. Its walls become a shelter of hope for the people in it. It is that place where you can face the greatest crises in life because that is why it was built, to protect and safeguard its members.
What makes a family rise above in the face of suffering and adversity, and that others remain stuck in the same place without being able to move forward when facing a crisis? The answer is a positivist psychology concept: resilience. Resilience’s definition could not be simpler, said Boris Cyrulnik, who coined this concept. He said that resilience was to start a new development after trauma. Others have said that it is the ability to overcome painful and traumatic situations, coming out of them stronger.
This concept is not only attributed to individual models of facing adversity but can also be contextualized in families and communities. Family resilience can be defined as the processes of reorganizing meanings and behaviors, and those of overcoming and adaptation, that take place in the family as a social structure.
It also allows the family system to recover in times of crisis, just like the ones we are currently living with Covid 19, that cushions the stress, reduces the risk of dysfunction and supports optimal adaptation. It implies more than handling stressful conditions, it implies the potential for transformation and personal and relational growth that can be forged by adversity.
In addition, it is marked by what happens not only after the traumatic event but before it has happened. Several studies show that people who have had a childhood marked by abandonment, in which they could not develop emotional intelligence or learn how to regulate their emotions, are more likely to succumb to the crisis when compared to people who had parents who allowed them develop a secure attachment. These people usually deal with a small neurological malformation that prevents them from controlling their emotions and they collapse when facing a serious life event, such as losing the job due to the coronavirus, marital problems or any other similar crisis.
Resilience is not innate. People do not learn when the crisis arrives. It is an attitude that must be learned from childhood, since the first months of human life are crucial to control emotions in adulthood. In other words, the family structure is the forger of resilience in its members.
7 Resilient Family Practices
They trust in God. Resilient families trust God. They know that their future is in God’s hands and that no matter what it may hold, there is a happy world beyond. Their eyes are always fixed on that world where there will be no more crying or pain.
They are optimistic. They are optimistic because they believe in God’s power. It does not matter what crisis may come to the family, there will always be a glorious morning to dawn. Optimism helps overcome difficulties. They grow in the possibilities, but they also accept the things that cannot be changed.
They are flexible. They are flexible enough to understand the crisis they are living and to adapt to adverse circumstances. They change in order to face new challenges. They build a new sense of normality as they reorganize themselves in the face of adversity. They are firm, but at the same time flexible while employing authoritative leadership.
Connectivity. They maintain connectivity in the middle of the crisis. They value mutual support, collaboration, and commitment. The individual needs, differences and limits of each family member are respected. And when the crisis produces emotional wounds, the family seeks new ways to heal and restore relationships.
Emotional expression is open. They promote sharing a variety of feelings (joy, happiness, sadness, anger). There is mutual empathy and great tolerance to each individual’s differences, who take responsibility for their own emotions, behaviors and avoid judging others.
They see crisis as opportunities. Nothing happens in life without God allowing it to happen. The ways in which the family interprets adversity determine the emotions they will experience. Adversity can be seen as a calamity or an opportunity to grow in life. One decision leads to death and the other one to hope.
Solve problems in a collaborative way. They work together in order to solve their problems. They brainstorm, invent, and seize opportunities to grow in the face of adversity. They focus on clear goals, prepare to succeed, and learn from failure.
The banana tree is very resilient, even when it seems so weak. No fire or typhoon can kill it. Even if his body is cut into a thousand pieces, it can still survive. The only way it can be prevented from growing back is by pulling it out completely. God has created the family with this ability to be resilient even in the most difficult trials that may come, because no trials will come upon us that we cannot bear.
This Maybe, while we recognize the value of the family in the face of crisis, we also honor the value a mother has when helping the family in the midst of crises. It is the mother who begins to prepare that little child so that he/she can be resilient before the crisis, who helps her children develop emotional intelligence, she is the one who makes the difference in the family.
Based on what we mentioned before, the role of the mother is decisive in the resilience of the children, and, together with the father’s work, they will have in their hands the formation of future adults who will know how to face the vicissitudes of life in a conscious and effective way, and who will overcome the crisis that befalls them, together, without separations, without family ruptures.
If each home, takes God’s hand, it will build resilient people from the teachings at an early age, society will count on adults whose emotional intelligence will be well developed, whose psychological and emotional stability will allow them to establish mature, healthy and beneficial interpersonal relationships that will guide them to have their own resilient families in the future. We can conclude then that resilience is the key to having a healthy, prosperous and balanced society. Everything comes from the family, and home.