My family is just like yours. Okay…maybe not JUST like yours. I have a wife, 3 kids and a dog…perhaps you have more or less of those things. What I mean to say is that my family has struggles. We get sick, things get tight financially, we get mad at each other, we find ourselves stressed out, burnt out and stretched...our schedules get crazy at times…really crazy!
Like this picture, I actually have fantasies about my family gathered around the dinner table, grasping each others hands to pray, all of us bright-eyed and laughing at our family dog that is on its hind legs begging for food (I’m fairly certain this is a Norman Rockwell painting). It’s never that way. On those occasions when all of us are home for dinner, we are pushing and prodding everyone to the table. The kids fight over who is to pray (we now have a system, I’ll let you know how it goes). There will be an argument about some item of food that is presented.
You get the point, right? My family…just like yours. They are wonderful! In the midst of the “mess” that is my family sometimes I recognize we are a “work in progress”. Here are some ways God is working on us:
- We’re doing The Story with our church & my family is jumping in. I bought each member of my family the age-appropriate copy of The Story and then wrote a note in the front of each book to them…that’s right, I played on their heart strings to manipulate them into reading each week…man I’m good!
- We have the buckets on our dinner table that are labeled “Making Space for God” & “Making Space for Others” – we talk about those when we aren’t fighting over whether the chicken nuggets are crunchy enough.
- We got rid of cable! Crazy, right? I won’t say we will never have it again, but for right now, we have less screen time as a family and that’s a good thing! It’s allowed us time to make space for God and others.
Here is the message…whether it is you, you and your spouse, your spouse and some kids or whatever the makeup of your family…stop fantasizing about some delusional family that doesn’t exist and embrace and lead the one you have!
Family is crazy and messy sometimes, I wouldn’t want it any other way.