by: Esperanza Cherry
Life with work and children can make it difficult for many families to find time to spend together. Our time with our family may feel like its over as soon as it starts. It is important to focus on what we do and say during these fleeting moments. So what is it that we do with the time we have with our loved ones? Do we spend it on our electronic devices, use it to complain, or place focus on our own needs and ourselves? Our time together may be short, but let’s value every moment of it.
As wives and mothers, we have been given a great gift of influence in the lives of our husbands and children. We have been created to use our words with wisdom so that we may build up, not tear down. One way we can build up our family is to manage the time we spend together and set a standard for that time. Here are some ways to help you be a better builder:
#1 Honor the time you spend together
Whether it be dinner, a special day of the week, or date night, make it a priority. For instance, this would mean that you would pass on a girls night out if it falls on your agreed upon family day, date night etc. If you continuously set barriers for this time, your friends will catch on and also respect the days or times in the day that are important for your family. By treating that time special to you, you also allow your family to see and treat it with the same respect. It is a way to make your loved ones feel important and loved in your life.
#2 Be present
During your time together, make certain you are actually “together”. This means, if you are having dinner, then sit together at the table and be completely engaged without distractions. In this age of technology, it is so easy to turn on the TV, respond to a text, a phone call or plug into social media. Your family already has limited time together; keep technology out of the picture. Plan to turn off your phone or keep it in another room during your time together. Your time together is limited so make it sacred. You can always respond to that email or phone call later but that moment with your family, once its gone, it’s gone.
#3 Intentional Dialogue
Pay close attention to the words and emotions you are expressing to your husband and children. Coming home to you from a long day at work or school should be a relief not a burden. Avoid sharing unfruitful dialogue. Though there will be times needed to discuss issues, it is not required to be the first thing said nor should it dominate your fellowship time. Use this time to speak life and positivity into your husband and children, being careful not to complain or nag at them. Speaking positivity into your family can have an amazing outcome; if you are expressing your excitement to spend time with them instead of using that time to complain about the time you don’t spend, they may feel more inclined to plan more intentional time.
#4 Find Bonding opportunities
God created us all uniquely different which is what makes families so much fun because we are all able to bring something exciting to the table. Observe your family and find what you can do to cultivate your time together as a whole or one on one. This might be working on a DIY project with your husband, a dance class with your daughter, a soccer game with your son or a game night with the whole family. Whatever it may be, be intentional to find what develops moments of bonding and appreciation for one another.
Time may feel like its going quickly but in the moments when you do have the opportunity to be with your husband and or children, value it, honor it, protect it and build on it.