Strengthening the Bonds of Family

Relationships We're a busy household. Both girls have three practices a week. Throw in church activities and playing an instrument on top of that, and we don't have a lot of time left over. Some weeks, we struggle to have dinner together more than once or twice.

Monday nights are generally the exception. Usually, no one has anyplace they need to be. Since school started Monday nights had really become a night where we all went our own separate ways. We rarely sat down and did anything together. The girls might watch a TV program or play by themselves. My husband and I might finish up some work or some chores. Outside of dinner, our family wasn't spending much time together.

But a couple of weeks ago, one of the girls suggested we play a game. We had a great time. We laughed together. We heard stories about each others' days. We discovered that we enjoyed each others' company again.

It's so easy to get so caught up in our schedules, in running from place to place, that we lose the connection with the other members of our family. We work so hard to juggle the schedules that we forget to emphasize the relationships.

The truth is most of our kids aren't going to become professional athletes or musicians. They're most likely not going to dance with the Rockettes or become a famous actor. When our kids' time at home is over, it's the relationships they formed in childhood that will keep them connected to us and their siblings. It's the relationships that will keep them coming home.

There's nothing wrong with having our kids be in activities, but when those activities trump the family relationship, it's time to step back and examine what we're doing. It's time to make time in our schedules for our families. Whether it's a weekly game night, a family walk or just having dinner together as many nights as you can, make it a point to foster the relationships within your family. Because if we don't, then the bonds that hold us together just get looser and looser.

Jesus knew this. While he didn't have a wife and kids, his disciples often functioned as His earthly family. He often made an effort to spend time just with those 12 men. He taught them. He ate with them. He made time to foster those relationships.

Relationships take time. Nothing can replace that. It's the little moments, the unplanned snippets of time, that our kids will carry with them. It's those moments that create relationships.

So in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this busiest season of all, don't forget to take the time to foster the relationships within the four walls of your home. Spend time with your family. Enjoy your kids. Talk with your spouse. Make your family a priority. Because those are the relationships that matter most.