Families used to wake together, pray together, do chores together, work together, eat together, learn together, play together. There is a wonderful wholeness and harmony to this way of living. A stable rhythm of life that is itself a beautiful and rightly-ordered liturgy — a ritual that keeps one’s life centered on what is most important (making one’s entire way of life a form of right worship). The result is you create people who are more likely to know and live by what is most important in life and who go on to create their own families with similarly rightly-ordered living.
But today family life tends to look very different. A typical family wakes up, everyone with their own routine and agenda and place to be, making their own breakfast to-go. Then mom goes off to one place, dad to another, each kid to a different place, all spending the bulk of the best hours of most days with totally different people, far away from each other. Then we get home at different times, after driving around all evening to our own separate activities, working on separate projects, eating an unbalanced dinner at different times in different places, then retiring to watch different tv shows in different rooms, all lost in our own devices which are optimized to keep us up too late and our heads in a million other places other than the place we are actually in. Then we all go to bed at different times and wake up too early the next day without quite enough sleep…and repeat.
This is chaos, and naturally destructive to the family and home. It breeds insecurity, instability, and anxiety and instills the bad habits which tend to trap a person within such madness the rest of their lives. People grow up thinking it’s “normal” and then teach their kids the same.