When Kierkegaard left this world, he had had a long relationship with his chosen bride; Regine. He loved here, with all his heart, for all that he was worth. His weird introvert understanding of things made the proces with which he addressed her, internal. It was about his own inner process, in fact not so much about the woman herself. She waited for him all her life, but had to accept, that he would not come to her.

In the process however, amazing, beautiful philosophy came out of it. Something we can still use today.

According to Kierkegaard in his work Either-Or. you live your life between the material world, the ethical world, and spirit. He kind of saw himself meeting her first on the material world, seducing her, but then after some time, he had ethical qualms about the way they behaved, and ended up trying to find forgiveness for the deed of leaving her.

In the family all three layers are present. The seduction of materialism, the ethics of solidarity and honor, and the love of G-d.

In my view, it is not a process, it is a frame around the family. We have to tackle the lure of materialism, in order to live our lives fully. It is so easy to start working too much, and stop thinking about the family, to the detriment of the unity of all who are in the family. This is the first challenge in family life; finding a balance between too much work, and time for companionship. G-d does not want us to work just to work, but to serve his creation and his ways, that is love.

On the ethical level, there are several virtues that I believe are all important, the first and foremost is solidarity. We cannot live our lives without the support from our closest. Solidarity has the backside of too much social control, so solidarity should be given without a cost benefit analisys, freely and without conditions.

The second most important virtue is honor. Honor is in fact a kind of result of all the other virtues, high honor means that your have lived out all the other virtues in life. You have been courageous, that you have fought for the freedom of your siblings, that you have come in support in times of need.

The third virtue to my mind, is honesty. You cannot be uncorrupted if you lie. Honesty does not mean being up in other peoples face, and tell them about all their bad habits. It is about being honest to them in your daily meetings, treating them with simple courage, with true intentions, in a humble way.

There are many other virtues that may seem important, and probably there are different virtues in different situations. But these are good guidelines.

But off cause the most important virtue, or rather level of meeting in family is spirit. This is love. We work on all the other levels, to be able to share the feeling of love inbetween us. To have those little moments, where you have fun, and are all in one. To meet in prayer around your table, to be able to share your moments of happiness.

This is a mode to think about in the tradition of Kierkegaard. He never found his love, but we can realize, on the foundation he built, what he missed. The deep love of family.

G-d bless the love of our near ones.

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