I can't believe we are already on the last day. Congratulations on sticking with it and almost completing the entire plan. There is so much great content from our live Living Room Reset events that it was actually pretty tricky to write this. I pray with all my heart that this plan has been an encouragement to you as you navigate family life. And I hope to be able to meet you in person when I come to your city. Alright, let's wrap this thing.
If I had to sift through all that I know about raising kids and leave you with just one more principle, I would choose this: Keep their hearts. Family is primarily about relationship. Our homes are not supposed to be a correctional facility. It’s so easy to get into an adversarial place with our kids. If this happens, I believe we need to put down the rod of correction and regain their heart. Why? Because if we lose their heart, we’ve lost the battle. Nothing is worth burning the relational bridge between your and your child, no matter what they do. Imagine if God gave up on us because of our bad behavior. We would have no hope! If you disconnect from your kids relationally and settle into a “me vs. you” attitude, their opportunity to benefit from your wisdom will be lost on deaf ears. Relationship. Relationship. Relationship.
Chelsea calls it “tying heartstrings.” She pictures tying strings of joy and fellowship between her heart and the hearts of our kids, one word at a time, one smile at a time, one activity at a time. She’s much better at this than I am. Sure, we need to correct and discipline our kids when necessary, but Chelsea makes sure that the overall tone, the morale of our home is one of joy and laughter. Smiles instead of scowls.
One way to keep your child's heart through the young years, teen years, and all the way through life is to remember to have fun with them. I know that doesn’t sound super-spiritual, but I believe it’s really important. And it makes sense. We all love to be with, listen to and take advice from the people that enjoy us and are fun to be around, not the ones who are stressed out, uptight, and critical of our every move. What do you think your kids would have fun doing together with you? Surprise them! Sometimes it’s taking one of your kids away on a “father/daughter date” or a dad and son outing. Sometimes it's playing that 10,000th game of Sorry (although playing it with a six-year-old might make you question your salvation!). Sometimes it can be as simple as picking a movie they want to watch, making their favorite snack, and sitting on the couch and just being together. But the key is actually being together, which is very different than just being in the same room (while we check email). It's making our kids feel special, important, and valued.
In this crazy fast-paced world we live in, this type of fun and relaxation has to be planned, or it may never happen.
Live It Out: Yup...you guessed it...think of something fun to do. Grab one of your kids, or all of your kids, and show them you value them. Be spontaneous or pre-plan a time together. Whether it's 15 minutes, or an entire day, do it today and enjoy!
Supporting Scripture: Psalms 27:3-5