As most of us have experienced, time is a commodity in high demand. There never seems to be enough time for us to do everything we have to do and want to do. We all face expectations and demands, pressures and desires, and there are simply not enough hours in the day to attend to everything.

All too often, our families are the ones who suffer for it. While we have a propensity to focus our time and energy on activities outside the home, those we love the most get the short end of the stick. After expending ourselves for other people and other obligations, many people arrive home, unwind in front of the television, and then collapse into bed without devoting any attention to the others living under the same roof or to prayer.

It may take some restructuring of your schedule and it will require an intentional effort, but it is possible to realign your life so you can give more time to your family. You may need to make some sacrifices and you must learn to say "no," but you can make your family a priority. Here are some suggestions to help you get started...

  • Designate one evening per week as your "date night." Reserve that time to spend with your spouse and to invest in your marriage. It does not have to be an expensive date, but it does need to allow for open communication about your lives and your family.
  • Establish a weekly "family night." Dedicate it as a nonnegotiable evening for the entire family to have fun together. You can work on a family project, Bible study, play games, go bowling, or participate in any number of other activities. You can even allow a different member of the family to decide on the activity each week.
  • Take advantage of weekend getaways. Whether you visit a nearby city or stay in a local hotel, the time spent together can greatly enhance your family relationships.Go on annual vacations together. Leave your work at the office and devote at least a couple weeks to creating memories and building bonds with your family.
Not only do our families need our time; they deserve our time. When they don't get it, our family relationships begin to crumble. As you attempt to devote more time to your family, remember that not all your family time has to be highly structured. While quality time is certainly important, so is quantity. Spontaneity can often do more for a relationship than orchestrated activities.

Intentionally investing time into your family will result in the strengthening of your family bonds and increased levels of satisfaction and joy within your home. Initially, it may seem exceedingly difficult to do and you may have a hard time making the required compromises. Pray for your family and remember, with God all things are possible.
 


Comments

Isabella Sullivan
11/26/2011 10:05am

I found this a helpful read, and your suggestions would be easy to implement. No major lifestyle changes are needed, just a few simple "tweaks' in the calendar and that could bring some big results.

Definitely worth trying :)

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Venera Gallo
11/29/2011 6:47pm

If I could add one more suggestion to your list, I'd say eating together as a family, at least for one meal.

It has become the favorite time of the day for me.

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Clio
12/01/2011 3:51pm

Your good advice reminds me of a favorite quote of mine: "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

And as you said, our own families are worth the time and sacrifice. Without them, our victories can seem pretty hollow.

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Sylvia
12/02/2011 10:56am

In this fast-paced world we live in, time is of the essence. Any time devoted to God and family will enhance the rest of our lives.

Thank you for the advice.

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Bernice
12/10/2011 9:22pm

One thing I've been doing that wasn't mentioned here is a daddy-daughter night. Every two weeks my daughter and I will have fun doing what she wants to do and what she cares about.

The time is priceless to me and allows us to have casual and frank conversations.

If or when I'm blessed with a son, I'll dedicate the same kind of quality time with him.

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