By Robert Halsey Pine
Family is a huge part of our lives on this Earth. We need to contemplate its importance to us. We must not forget the blessings that family can bring to us. Here are some thoughts for us to ponder as we live out our lives.
Depending on the status of our lives, we often spend time with our family and friends over the holidays. Just hanging out or doing activities together sends a strong message of love and caring. Time together is an expression of what is important in life. The Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons allow wonderful opportunities to renew old family traditions or start new ones.
Activities with children include anything you both are capable of doing whether in the home or outdoors. Take your pick! Your plans for committing time to spend with your loved ones of all ages shows your appreciation for one another and is an important part of the season!
Not everyone has the pleasure of being with their loved ones for the holidays, but it is key to make up for that at some other time. Group encounters not only give children positive experiences, but also play a large part in a happy life. The connection you have with family is a bond that is undeniable.
Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV exclaims: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
A loving family defines a long-lasting blessing in our lives. Holiday celebrations sometimes require travel. Relatives we rarely see come together bringing gifts and food to brighten the season. These reconnections provide that joyful, warm feeling that everyone looks forward to this time of year.
In addition to blood kin, close friends who are part of our extended family are often part of our celebration. Our friends and family accept us regardless of our faults. They bless us with their unconditional love. Because of their support for us, we can really enjoy the gift of the season.
Spending time together builds solid connections and respect for one another, which allows us to cope with personal and family crises more effectively. We all go through rough times, but still support and love one another.
Family will always see the best in you no matter what others see. They will have faith in all of the changes that you will go through and will love you through the good and bad. The love of a family member will surpass any other earthly love you could grasp.
In 1 Timothy 5:8 ESV, Scripture tells us: “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.” Spending quality time celebrating the holiday season with family is why we come together.
Helping children to learn and to grow in a non-judgmental setting is important. As they learn in a safe and supportive environment, they will begin to gain self-confidence at a tender developmental stage in their lives. Let them make mistakes when they try to do things. Instead of being critical or micro-managing, let them find solutions on their own. Only offer help when they ask for it. As they develop problem-solving skills, you are sure to see the biggest smiles of their lives!
When we take the time to participate in meaningful activities together, behavioral problems decrease. Children are less likely to act out, particularly in a violent manner. When you do a project together, you are working toward a common goal. Everyone has a plan and teamwork brings it to life. Children learn the benefits of being part of a team and making a dream happen!
Time together helps to form lasting links between family members. If you can’t be with them for hours upon hours, attempt to make the most of your time when you are together. Put down your phone and step away from the computer. Emails, texts and Facebook will still be there after you’ve shared with family!
“Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” – Genesis 28:14
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.