Families are under tremendous pressure today. Setting up and running a family is a HUGE endeavor. Once we get the kids enrolled in their activities, then we must outfit them, transport them, pay for it all, and attend their events. Not that those things are bad. We love our kids, but when you add those things on top of keeping food on the table and clothes in the drawers, or at least clean, and paying bill, then it all adds up to significant pressure. Some are able to handle it better than others, but we all would benefit from these three solutions as we plan, organize, and execute family life.
1) Plan Time to Rest and Enjoy Relationships.
If you don’t plan rest, it won’t happen. The Correll family did it this way. Dad and Mom with their 14, 10, and 8 year old decided they would block out Saturday evenings for rest and two evenings a week to eat together. They put those priorities on the calendar first. And, when it’s time to rest, it’s not just about everyone going to their own rooms or getting on the electronic media independently. It’s about spending time together and sharing life stories. It’s not always easy, but the Corrells report that their family is growing closer together instead of experiencing the fragmentation that pressure often produces.
2) Keep Long Term Goals in Mind But Enjoy the Moment
The urgency of the moment often causes us to miss the important things we want for our family. Our goal for our kids can’t be to make them happy. They need to develop character, responsibility and maturity if they are going to be successful in life. Those parents who indulge their children or deprive them of the privilege of working hard are often sorry in the end because their kids become soft and unable to face the challenges the real world provides. Those who are successful with family life are able to enjoy the everyday experiences while keeping the long-term goal of character building in mind.
3) Don’t Let Other People’s Expectations Cause You To Overcommit, Including Your Kids
There is a line that you cross where busyness exceeds your family’s ability to manage it. When you cross that line then relationships become tense, distance grows between the members, and family satisfaction takes a dive. Be strong enough to stand up to the Jones’ mentality that says all kids need to be in a particular program. Set aside your fears that if you don’t enroll your child in this event or activity, then they’ll be scarred for life. Sometimes it’s best to say to kids who have an insatiable desire for activity, “In order for you to add that to your life, you need to be doing well contributing at home, working at school, and treating family members well. Then we can talk about adding something else to your plate.
Of course one of the main ways to keep this balance is to have the support of a community. I’m the pastor of Calvary Chapel Living Hope. Let me remind you on this day, that there is a village nearby, just outside of your circle of knowledge that will support you and help you strengthen your family.
Calvary Chapel Living Hope suggests you center your life and home upon faith because faith works!
Let’s Get Coffee! Ping me. Let’s find a time and a place to sit, chat and get to know one-another. My life is centered in service to men and women and their families. I teach around the United States every week about strengthening families. I understand your struggles and believe that your goals are within your reach. Family life doesn’t have to be as hard as some allow it to be. Oh yes, it’s hard, but my mission it to make it a bit easier.