Andrew’s mother was always home, ready with a snack, when he came bounding off the school bus. His father arrived home in time for dinner, which was made by Andrew’s mother. They ate together at a dinner table, sharing with each other the news of the day. As Andrew grew, he and his parents would talk about current events, exchanging their views on the various subjects. Andrew’s parents would always attend his sporting events, cheering on him and his team. Family came first, in actions and words.
Shane’s mother was always home, ready with a snack when he came bounding through the door, but he didn’t see her; she was busy on the computer. His father arrived home in time for dinner, usually made by Shane’s mother. They ate together at a dinner table, with conversation extremely limited, as the sound of a cellphone going off frequently occurred. Shane’s father would take phone calls from work. Shane’s mother would often answer e-mails. Shane would be busy texting his friends. Even though they frequently attended Shane’s events, they often missed seeing him succeed; they were otherwise occupied. Family came first, they said, but…
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
(1 Timothy 5:8, ESV)
This month, May, is Family Wellness Month! This month, you are encouraged to spend more time with your family. Show your love! Show your joy! Show your family how important they are in your life!
How often has dinner been interrupted in the last week by a phone call? How often has family time been interrupted by someone sending and/or receiving a text message. How many times have your checked and possibly responded to a work e-mail while with your family? How many times, during a lull in conversation has someone checked social media on their phone? And five minutes later, you realized that everyone is on their phone instead of talking to those who are present? This month, unplug from the world and focus on family!
Family wellness begins by spending time together as a family! And no, not by watching television! Unplug! Build your relationship with your children, your spouse, your parents. Find an activity to do together. Go for a bike ride, cook a meal together, play a game. Work on family fitness while building relationships!
Spend time with your family talking and, more importantly, by listening! Learn what is going on in your family members lives. With what are they struggling? What has brought them joy recently? What is new in their lives? Face to face communication is extremely important. Many adults, especially older adults, prefer it over electronic communication. Many children and teens need the experience of expressing themselves in person, instead of in 140 characters or less or through emoji’s.
Family wellness is not limited to building relationships, but also to ensuring that each member of the family is experiencing spiritual wellness. Engage in a family Bible study. Talk about the week’s sermon and how it can apply to daily life. Grow together spiritually as a family!
This month, Family Wellness Month, focus on the all around wellness of your family. Start small, but start!