A Solid Foundation. Got a Bible? You’re covered. Use it liberally all over your family time together. Devotions at the dinner table. Visible references around your house. They all firmly plant a family in the Holy Word of God.
Multiple Barriers Of Protection. First, build a simple fence by telling folks around you that Sundays are sacred. Please don’t schedule anything on that day. You simply won’t be there. It’s God’s day. Not theirs or ours.
To protect dinner time, simply ask, “Can we schedule my meetings during my lunch hour? Dinner time at my house is set aside for my family. No? Well, it will have to wait for my attention.” Or ”No, I can’t go to __________ when my husband comes home. It will need to happen another time — we all eat together.” You can always eat early or late if neccessary, but do it together. If they are offended, so be it.
Send those powerful statements to the world not to mess with your family time. Tell them that it’s worth losing things over — money, pleasure etc. Funny, family time will actually increase your riches, just not the worldly kind.
Insist that your teenagers honor your family’s commitment to time together. Kids don’t leave home and say, “Dang, I wish I spent less time with my family while I was there! ” Quite the opposite occurs–especially for parents when their kids are grown, “I wish I would have been home for dinner more. I wish I would have been there to hear my kids talk about their day.”
Building layers of protection around Sundays and dinner is difficult. Our worldly foes know this. That is why it is so EASY to discard it or use it for other enterprises. It’s up to us to guard it with all of our motherly might.
Dinner: It doesn’t have to be a Norman Rockwell dinner every night. I say that their butts just need to be in the seats. When my husband comes home late, we come back to the table and talk while he is eating. Maybe we had to eat, but we all still need to connect.
Sunday: My husband is the champion of our Sundays. It’s family day. Period. If kids have a soccer tournament in another town, we can go to church as a family anywhere, not just our home parish. Can kids wear a stinky sweaty uniform to Mass or church? Yes, it sends a message that they care, beyond anything else. If God can honor the ladies with the gobs of perfume and the dudes with dirt on their boots, He will honor your effort every single time.
What I need to realize is that when I am with my family, it’s golden. It’s up to me to protect it and hold on to its value. Only then will it shine.
“For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:39