What does your family calendar look like? If you’re like many modern families, there’s an awful lot of activity packed into each day between school, work, sports, Scouts, church, medical appointments, hobbies, volunteer commitments and on and on and on. It can be difficult to find time to do ‘family,’ especially as the kids get older. Difficult, mind you, is not the same as impossible. Friends, it’s time to get family time back on your calendar.
Why do we need it?
We tend to make time for things we deem a priority. Here’s a fact you need to know: Studies indicate that children who enjoy leisure time and/or meals with their parents are healthier, happier, perform better in school, and are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors as teens. You and your spouse will benefit from the downtime and togetherness too. In fact, did you know research says that adults with strong personal connections are healthier and tend to live longer?
All those other things you’re doing? Sure, they have benefits too. However, none of them are a replacement for family time and the benefits it offers each of you.
Start with dinner
There are days where you feel lucky to grab a bite from the drive-through on your way between bullet points on your to-do list. However, with the right recipes you can prepare a healthy, fast, home-cooked meal in almost the same amount of time that it takes you to order “two number sevens, a small cheeseburger, and an extra side of fries.” If you have a slow cooker, Cooking Light has 100+ recipes to inspire you.
If that evening meal simply isn’t going to mesh with your schedules, anoint breakfast as your family meal. This is more about being together than the time of day you do it.
More than a meal
Sharing a meal is more than just the food you’re eating, of course. Start with prayer. Go beyond the simple grace. Pray over your family too. As you eat, take time to talk. Make plans for future family adventures. Ask questions and listen to the answers.
Challenge: If family dinner is not already part of your routine, start by dedicating one meal together this week. Make a pact to nurture the ritual of a daily family meal going forward. Already having family dinners? Share your favorite recipe.