“This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”Psalm 118:24 (NLT)
As our culture becomes more chaotic by the day, family relationships become way more complicated. God’s Word offers four simple choices that can bring clarity to the confusion and change dysfunctional family dynamics. His power can bring healing and spark real joy in your relationships.
The first choice can be found in the promise of Psalm 118:24. It almost sounds cliché. You may read it without even considering the implications to this powerful promise.
“This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (NLT)
Here’s the point that will help clear the clutter that is complicating your relationships:
Choose to celebrate the season you’re in!
We simplify our lives when we choose to celebrate the season we’re in rather than always longing for a season we are not in. It’s human nature to always want a season we are not in. When we’re little kids, we can’t wait to become a teen and get our driver’s license. Then, we can’t wait to turn 18. As a single adult, we can’t wait to get married. When we’re married, we can’t wait to have children. Then, when we do have kids, we can’t wait for the day they get old enough so we can get a full night’s sleep! We begin to wonder when the day will come when the kids will be able to drive themselves around and go off to college. Then, when they do finally leave the nest, we think, “Oh, if they could only be babies again!” What’s the problem? We’re missing the season we’re in!
Another problem is buying into the cultural lie that you can have it all right now! Women get this. They’re sold a lie that they can have the professional career, be a perfect wife and mother, stay in perfect shape and have a house that could be shown in Better Homes and Gardens while never missing a beat! The truth is you can have it all, just not all at the same time. Like the seasons in nature, there are seasons in our lives. Solomon put it like this in Ecclesiastes 3:1,
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (NKJV)
So how do you celebrate the season you’re in? Make a decision today. Do it now before it’s too late and that season passes. It’s as simple as a choice. Notice what the Psalmist said,
“This is the day – (Today) – I will rejoice.”
Stop comparing and feeling guilty for what you can’t do in the season you’re in, and begin celebrating what you get to do in this season!
Here’s a second choice to make that will clear the clutter in your closest relationships:
Choose to tune into their world.
The disciple John gives us this insight from what God, Himself did. He writes this in John 1:14a,
“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us.” (HCSD)
The Message paraphrases it like this:
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood….”
I love that! God didn’t ask us to come into His world. He knew we couldn’t do that, so He came into our world. God came into our mess so that we could hear His message! Now let’s apply that to your family. Do you tune in or tune out your kids? Your mate? Be honest. When you’re together, do you tune into your cell phone or TV more than your family? Maybe it’s time to replace Facebook with face time. Do you connect or disconnect when you’re around them? I don’t want to sound harsh; but the truth is, if you don’t tune into their world now, they will tune you out later in life. Be willing to get into your kid’s world. How do you do that? One simple way is by asking open-ended questions. God did that so often in His relationship with man.
“Adam, where are you? What have you done? Who told you…? Cain, where is your brother?” Jesus did the same thing with His disciples, “Who do men say that I am? Who do you say I am?”
When you ask open-ended questions, questions that engage a conversation, then really listen. Don’t interrupt. Ask follow-up questions. One of the best ways we’ve done this is with a consistent family dinner time. So, let me challenge you this week to plan your own dinner as a family. Toss the remotes and cell phones in another room for that time and tune in to each other’s world.
One way to remember these two choices, choosing to celebrate the season you’re in and tuning into their world is a simple phrase that’s helped us:
Wherever you are, be all there!
Dear God, thank You for the season I’m in right now! I choose to rejoice and be glad in it! Forgive me for the times I’ve complained or compared myself with others. It only causes me to miss the joy and blessing of this season. Help me to tune in to my family’s world so I may really connect with them. Deepen our relationships with one another as we put You first in our lives. Thank You for the counsel of Your Word. Help me to apply it in my life.