Don’t miss the blessing of ‘NOW!’
Right now, we are being asked to care more for others than ourselves by making physical space that a deadly virus cannot cross.
Right now, we are being asked to obey our leaders by trusting that they actually do care about the welfare of those vulnerable around us.
Right now, we are being offered the opportunity to spend time with the people we are most responsible for – our own family members.
Right now, parents are being reminded that THEY are their children’s best teacher by their actions. However, right now, it is really important to not confuse fear with helplessness. There is PLENTY we can do to help each other – here are a few ideas:
Cook Dinner Together. If your kids are hungry, teach them how to cook dinner WITH you. Even small children can scramble eggs and help make toast.
Play and Organize Together. If your kids are bored, have them organize the cupboards after taking all the pots and pans out for a half hour live percussion concert.
Toddlers only get half of this right. If your kids don’t do laundry, dump out all their drawers and have them refold and organize their clean clothes.
Don’t skip the tough lessons. If your kids keep forgetting to feed the pet, have them pick up all the dog poop in the yard before they get to eat again.
Truly connect at the dinner table. If your kids don’t stay off their phone while eating dinner with you, come to the dinner table with their agenda in mind – reconnect!
Right now, YOU have their attention. Make NOW count.
Family by God’s Design
Here’s a funny, but true story. I was told years ago that we had to take the word ‘family’ out of our Bible Society title. I was told that the word ‘family’ was not a good marketing term. Since a network had changed from ‘family’ to ‘freeform’ I reluctantly agreed. Then I wrote several pages of angry notes about my disgust with today’s society and got over myself. Now, years later, with our whole family growing together in grace and the our TLV Family Bible a huge success – my hope is getting restored again and again.
Family is NOT freeform – family is by God’s design. No baby gets to pick their parents. Parenthood is an honor, a privilege and a responsibility that – if left unfulfilled – can make the heart sick. Let me tell you what I see happening. God is resetting the clock, re-establishing His timelines, His boundaries and His sovereignty. Did you know that according to the Bible clock, the new year is TODAY!!!
That means Passover is a mere 14 days away! Passover is the beginning holiday that marks time for the Children of Israel year after year after year. I am so very, very grateful it is time to be set free from the captivity of this oppressive 16 hour work-day environment. Have you bought your matza (unleavened bread) yet? I’m having mine shipped to my house – along with Lamb, roasted herbs and we may even live stream it! How does that sound?!
Frankly, it seems that some faith communities across America seem to have forgotten that there is NOTHING they can do for 35 minutes on a Sunday morning that can’t be undone with a few angry words from a parent that afternoon when a child’s heart is at stake. Children are our most precious resource, and if it took a virus to remind us all that HOME IS WHERE FAITH IS PRACTICED – so be it. Children can’t make adults do the right now things to teach them about faith. That is why faith always starts around the dinner table – with a Bible and a parent who cares about the well-being of their child’s HEART as well as their stomach.
I really do think the three-generation approach to strong faith building that Jewish families practice is still the foundation of Biblical living. I know the first time I celebrated a Passover with my husband’s Rabbi at his home – I was astounded at why I never before noticed that ‘The Ten Commandments is always on TV every Easter for a reason! Imagine – the Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder Dinner – who knew it could be that simple?
Right now, Grandparents can make a critical impact ever in the lives of their own children – not just with their own grandchildren. Honoring your parents is not a commandment that ever ends. Honoring your parents, by listening to their wise counsel, respecting their boundaries and thanking God for His choice that He made for your good are healthy practices at any age.
Grandparenting is not parenting your grandchildren. Grandparenting is honoring the space between your children and their children. With healthy parenting by you as a guide, you can teach your great children to become great parents – that is how family is supposed to work. Then, if you are honored by your own children, your grandchildren will be your reward.
I’m no expert, I can just assure you of this one truth I learned personally. I grew up without grandparents in my daily life. I am privileged to be here for my own grandchild now. In the brief time I had to spend with my ailing grandmother after both my parents died WAY TOO EARLY, I reveled in how she loved me – cause I belonged to her – I was a piece of her. She never talked to me about my parents, or their interpersonal struggles. I just loved her because she loved me.
Years after she died, I realized she had never actually said a negative word about either of my parents. Thinking back, the silence speaks volumes now. Oh what I wished I had asked her about how God helped her through a lifetime without us growing up all around her. Oh how I wished it could have been different. But, honestly, there really is no time machine waiting in the corner to reverse consequences.
EVERY MOMENT we have together is precious and this ‘pregnant pause’ we are all experiencing is just the time we need to create newer, healthier relationship habits that can ensure a brighter future for our children and our children’s children.
Take time to read your Bible with the people you love – RIGHT NOW. May I suggest starting with Ecclesiastes 3:1-11. I guarantee that you and your family can find plenty of things to talk about. Just be sure you share words of LIFE with one another – and leave the animosity and ‘bad blood’ behind – where it no doubt belongs. Make today count! •