FAMILY LIFE BLOG




 

Morning Time

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:06 PM

Reggie Joiner in his book Think Orange has a chapter entitled Family Times. In this chapter Reggie has identified four significant times that we have each day with our kids. They are morning time, meal time, drive time and bed time. In the next four articles I will be sharing some ideas of what to do during these times. These times each day can be something the family can look forward to, not dread.

Morning Time – Morning time for most people young and old is not the time of day they look forward to. I heard a non-morning person once say, “Whenever I get up, it is always a ½ hour too early.” A non-morning person just needs some time to transition into their day. This transitional time is often enjoyed alone, sipping on a cup of hot coffee. Those who are non-morning people don’t like to be rushed or greeted with a loud cheerful voice early in the morning. They enjoy peace and quiet as they wake up and when there is need for conversation they are willing to converse about the essentials like, time of departure or other details important for family members to know.

Then there are those obnoxious few, from a non-morning person’s perspective who love mornings. The “morning person” can wake up quickly and be humming a tune before their even out of bed. They are ready to visit with anyone who is willing to listen. So, how do parents make morning time something to look forward to for the entire family knowing that each of us handle mornings differently? Below are 4 suggestions of how you can make morning time something to look forward to as a family.

  1. Respect Each Other – Morning people need to remember that your non-morning family members need some space. Don’t try to force conversation early in the morning. Think of ways that you can be helpful to your family. Offer to serve family members but don’t force it. Say things like this, “As you get ready for school is there anything that I can do that would be helpful?” Non-morning person’s need to work hard at being gracious and kind when asking for more space in the morning.
  2. Plan Ahead – Parents, you may need to start waking up earlier than your children so you can be ready for your day and at your best. Morning time is when your child needs your patience the most as they are waking up and getting ready for their day. If your child has a hard time transitioning into their day, they might have to be woken up earlier, providing more time for them to get ready and not be late for school. Most children do not want to be pushed or rushed early in the morning. Work with your child at bed time to organize things needed for the next day. This will help minimize tension in the morning.
  3. Words of Encouragement – Kids and adults encounter all sorts of challenges in their day. Morning time is a great time to express words of encouragement. Encouragement speaks value into the life of your child and spouse. Think of ways you can encourage each other. These are some examples of how to express words of encouragement, “I hope your math test goes well today. What time is your test? I will be pray for you”. “You sure look nice today!”
  4. Creating Conversation –If you eat breakfast together allow conversation to flow freely. Don’t try to force family members to talk. Think of good questions to ask like, “Is there anything that makes you feel nervous as you go off to school today?” “You told me last week that your friend broke their arm. How are they doing?”

Keep thinking about ways that you can make morning time a time to be enjoyed.

Preparing Your Child to Leave

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:05 PM

I clearly remember the day I left to attend college.  My parents stood on the deck of their house and waved good-bye until I was out of sight.   I wonder what they were saying to each other about my readiness to leave home.  Eventually your child will leave the nest, flying off into a life of their own.  What are you doing now to prepare your child for this departure?  Here are nine ways that you can prepare your child to leave home.

  1. Build the foundation (the life) of your home on the Word of God.  No other foundation will match the strength of the Word.  “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1)
  2. Make sure your children know what your family values.  “Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6: 4-5).  What provides direction and guidance for your family decisions now?  What are your values?
  3. Take good care of yourself- spirit, mind and body.  When you change the way you live you will impact those you are living with!  How are you connecting with God?  What are you filling your mind with?  Your body is a gift from God, are you taking good care of it?
  4. If you are married, take time to nurture the relationship you have with your husband or wife.  This relationship will provide security or fear for your child depending on the healthiness of your marriage.
  5. Find good friendships.  Develop meaningful friendships with other parents and people who can provide support for you and your children.  Don’t try to parent alone!
  6. Be generous givers.  (John 3:16)  You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.  Be a giving family.  Find ways to get your family involved in serving others.
  7. Make time for your family.  Remember: quality time always comes in large quantities.
  8. Everyone in the family needs to be a contributor.  Give your kids responsibilities (chores) that allow them to feel that they are an important part of the family.
  9. Help your children to think on their own, to be problem-solvers.  Don’t rescue them every time they get into a jam.  Kids who learn to figure things out for themselves develop self-confidence, self-respect, and the skills they need to be responsible in life.

What are you doing to prepare your child to leave?

Our Home–A Place of Influence

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:04 PM

The greatest gift we can give to our families is to live out our faith the same in the privacy of our homes just as we would in the public limelight. Home is the place where everyone sees the reality of who we really are. It is a great place to reveal more of who Jesus is!

 

In 1967 on a cold and wintry night, I was ten years old and had completed the outside farm chores for the day (i.e.: pigs were fed, fresh bedding was laid, and the dog had water and food); my family and I were settled into our evening routines.  I did my homework, cleaned up the supper table, wrestled with my brothers, and cared for the needs of Nancy, my mentally and physically handicapped sister.

A knock on the outside door was heard, along with a troubled voice in the background saying, “Can I come in for a while?”  Everyone rushed to the kitchen to find our neighbor lady, who lived a mile across the field, leaning over a chair sobbing, chilled down to the bones, and bloodied.  The air was filled with the stench of alcohol and a loud drunken voice. Our neighbor cried out, “My husband beat me and I had to run away.  I thought that I should come to your house because I knew that you cared about me and my family.”  Weaving back and forth leaning on the back of a kitchen chair, she sobbed and sobbed.  Mom placed a chair behind her and helped her to sit down.  Dad wrapped a blanket around her while mom made up a pot of fresh hot coffee.  After a two hour conversation, she had sobered up enough to feel comfortable to return home.  When my parents walked her into her house, they saw her husband passed out with his head resting on the kitchen table.  On the open porch entrance laid an uncooked, 20 lb. turkey, a gift from their landlord for Christmas; it was half eaten by their cats.

Besides her husband she also had three daughters, all under the age of seven. The three little girls often cared for themselves as their mom and a dad were often drunk on wine.  The parents drank a gallon or more per person each weekend.  The dad drank hard liquor during the week.  There was an empty, run-down chicken coop on their property.  Replacing the laying hens were gallon wine jugs filling each nest area–30 in all! For the three little girls, the chicken coop was also their playhouse year-round. The wine jugs, two naked dolls and a few small sticks, collected from a grove, were their toys.

The older girls attended school; each were diagnosed with learning disabilities and enrolled in special education.  All three girls had difficulties talking with clear speech.  I rode the same school bus and often saw them run out to the bus with uncombed hair, dirty dresses, and coats open to harsh winter winds.  Sometimes I saw dried blood on their cheeks. They smiled to everyone on the bus and sat right behind the bus driver.

Starting long before our family was aware of the domestic violence and alcoholism problems of our neighbors, my parents were building a loving and caring relationship with them.  Drop in visits, friendly waves, and goodies to share were common occurrences.  This relational warmth created the atmosphere that told the mom that it was alright to stagger across the snow covered fields, knowing in her heart that the Giese family loved and cared for her family.

We started to take the three neighbor girls to Sunday School and church each week. My mom brought a warm washcloth along in the car to wipe the girls’ faces clean as we drove down the road to church.  These little girls were in charge of their own lives for their parents couldn’t even take proper care of themselves.  My mom would make sure that there was plenty of food in their refrigerator.

Our relationship with Jesus directly affects how we treat those who are closest to us, even our next door neighbors.  As I watched the example set by my parents, I saw more of who Jesus is.  I also started to understand what truly matters in life.

 

If your children were asked to evaluate your life and your relationship with Jesus, what would they say?

 

Ephesian 5:1-2 (The Message)  “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.  Love like that.”

Family Conversation Starters

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:03 PM

Creating meaningful conversation with your family can come easily for some, but for the majority of parents knowing how to start meaningful conversation can be very difficult.  One of the best ways to start a conversation is to ask good questions.  Good questions convey that you care about the person you are speaking with, but they can also inspire them to think. The timing of when to ask these questions is critical.  It is not wise to start these interactions if there is tension in your home or if everyone is in a hurry.  A better time would be when family members are more relaxed, have time to talk, and are in a peaceful mood.  Around the dinner table, while driving, just before bed—any time your family is together there is potential for great conversation.
Listed below are 4 family conversation starters.  My hope and prayer is that these ideas will inspire great conversation and opportunity to hear your kids’ thoughts and questions.

Love is…
How does God show He loves you?  After reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, what is a new way you can show God’s love to others?  Try it this week!

Give thanks!
What are you thankful for?  What does it mean to be thankful in all circumstances? Try this! Have each family member think of the things they are thankful for. Give each person a balloon or a kleenex and see who can keep it in the air the longest by tapping it up once for each thing they’re thankful for.  Read together! “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

God with us…
Do you ever wonder if God is always with you?  How do you know when God is with you?  Try this!  Every time you think of God today, write it down, share it, or add a sticker to a “God is with us” paper on the refrigerator door.  Read this!  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:23 (NIV) “…And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20 (NIV)

Encourage one another…
What does it mean to encourage each other?  Why is it important?  Try this!  Write the name of each family member on a strip of paper.  Let everyone pick one.  Think of an act of encouragement to do for him or her this week.  Read this! Hebrews 3:12-14 (NIV)

I hope that these 4 ideas will inspire you to think about other good questions to ask that will start great family conversation!

I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

When Work and Family Collide

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:03 PM

Work whether in or out of the house can become not only an occupation but also a preoccupation.  When this happens in a family the preoccupation can steal a piece of us that belongs somewhere else.  So this becomes the challenge; when work and family collide.  We have a critical need to find balance in our lives.   How do we achieve our goals outside the home when faced with the critical task of partnering and parenting at home?  The list of responsibilities is endless.  Each competes for our attention.  So we compromise.  We allocate our time the best we can but somebody’s going to feel cheated.  Unfortunately, that “somebody” is usually a person we care a great deal about.  Often times our families are cheated of our time for the sake of our career goals.  To reduce the collisions between work and family we need to discover the things that contribute to the collisions and then figure out ways to reduce those collisions. Listed are some factors that contribute to work and family collisions: fear of losing your job, unhealthy competition, conflicting values between husband and wife, growing expectations at work and home, poor time management, unresolved conflicts at home and lack of communication skills.

These are some questions to ask when attempting to reduce collisions:  What are my priorities?  Am I in agreement with my spouse on these priorities? What can be negotiated at work and what is out of my control? Am I making the best use of my time at work?  Am I allowing unresolved conflicts at home affect my efficiency at work?  Am I 100% engaged with my family when I am at home?  Am I aware of the ongoing needs of my family?

Your choices at work should reflect your values in life.  Success at home contributes to success in the work place.  Achieving balance in this is worth all the hard work it requires.  I want to encourage you to sit down with your spouse and think of ways you can reduce collisions and gain better work/life balance.

Keeping Your Word

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:02 PM

I remember when I was 5-years-old my parents told me that I could travel with them to pick up some furniture at my aunt and uncles home in Edina, MN.   Traveling to Edina from our house was a 3 to 4 hour trip, one way.  Wow!  I struggled to fall asleep that night in anticipation of the “big trip” the next day!  Do you know what this invitation meant to a 5 year old boy?  This meant getting out of school (kindergarten) for a day, traveling alone with mom and dad in our grain truck and leaving my two brothers back at home because they had to go to school the next day.  For a 5 year old boy, this was like a once-in-a-life-time experience!  Not once did I question if my parents would fulfill their promise to me that day.  When they told me that we were going to do something they kept their word.  At a very young age my parents had earned a great gift, my trust.

H. Jackson Brown said, “Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.”   William Shakespeare wrote, “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”

Do you want your children to grow up trusting your word?  Do you want your children to know that you can be counted on, that you are sincere, genuine and trustworthy?  When we earn the trust of our sons and daughters we have received a tremendous gift.  Respecting our kids is vital to becoming trustworthy parents.

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott in their book, The Parent You Want To Be, provided a list of common ways to demonstrate respect to your child:

  • Make eye contact when your child is talking to you.
  • Knock before entering his/her room, especially if the door is closed.
  • Value your child’s need for fun and the time he spends with his friends.
  • Give them space to have different opinions and preferences than you (or other members of the family).
  • Value your child’s need for privacy.  Don’t open her mail or listen in on her phone conversations.
  • If your child is struggling with something and is in no danger of getting hurt, hurting someone else, or ruining something valuable, ask him if he wants help before you step in and do something for him.
  • When someone asks your child a question, let your child answer for himself.  Resist the temptation to speak for your child, especially when he is present.

Are you exactly what you claim to be or are you pretending to be something you are not?  Reliable, trustworthy and genuine parents are comfortable in their own skin and deserving of their children’s trust.  Keep your word and you will have the greatest gift from your kids, their trust!

No Perfect Parent or Family

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:02 PM

Milan and Kay Yerkovich, authors of the book, How We Love Our Kids said, “There is no perfect parent; just a growing parent and God can use even our weakness to work out His good plans for our kids.”   I would add that there is no such thing as a perfect family; just a growing family and God can do amazing things through the weaknesses in our families. Sometimes teenagers may picture what they think other families are like; in their mind they have just a mental snapshot of this “perfect” family.  When they see only a glimpse of their friends’ families they will likely come to some inaccurate conclusions about that family.   This snapshot has everyone in that family dressed perfectly and living in a house nicer than most.  Everyone is smiling and making the appearance of perfect family relationships.   If they could only live with this “perfect” family for a week and then they would discover that there is no such thing as a perfect family.  The perfect family doesn’t exist.

Parents of JV students your child has been challenged by the covenant student ministry team to think about life in their own family, families that consist of imperfect people like you and I.  The JV students were given the opportunity to think together about these two questions:  how do I live and interact with the family God has placed me in?  How do I find a way to be a part of my family, instead of just surviving and dreaming of the day when I move out?

In the next week or two be intentional about visiting with your child about what life was like in your family, the positive memories along with some of the challenges.  Think about the areas in your life where you have had to grow as a result of the imperfections of your parents.  Allow your teen to see how you are striving to grow so they can understand how to confront their own limitations and pursue personal growth and faith.

Someday your child may become a parent.  Think about what you can model today with this child that will equip them to be a great parent.   Allow your imperfections to be seen.  God can use even our weakness to work out His good plans for our kids.  Pray that your honesty in these moments with your child will strengthen the bond between you.

Positive Changes, Enjoyable Relationships

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:01 PM

Are you creating a relational atmosphere where your children can come to you when they are in need?  How you respond to your child’s emotions and feelings can change a life, restore a relationship and convey a deep message of love.   Ignoring, diminishing or rejecting your child’s emotions pushes them further away.

Parenting can take a dramatic turn when you take a step back from your daily life to evaluate yourself and your parenting.  By recognizing where you are at and by making appropriate changes you could greatly improve your relationship with your children.  Looking back at your childhood and contemplating how you were parented, can help give perspective; you can see where you might be struggling and pinpoint areas where you need to grow.  As you think about how you were parented ask yourself these questions:  How did my parents manage the stresses of life?  Did my parents manage their stress or did that stress manage them?  How well did my parents express their feelings and emotions with each other and with me?    Were my parents really in tune to me as a child?   Did my parents really listen to me as I expressed to them how I was feeling?  The purpose of looking back at how you were parented is not to blame your parents for your behavior but rather to chart a path of growth so you can be a better parent.  Taking a close look at how you were brought up will help you to pinpoint your defenses and difficulties you may have inherited from your family of origin.

Are you ready to make some changes­­—to see yourself honestly and grow?  If you are ready to make changes in your life, be encouraged by the words from Joshua.  God is with you through every change you feel necessary to make.   Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  With an open mind, you’ll begin to see yourself as you really are, and your view of your child as the source of your problem will begin to change.  When you discover your own weaknesses and begin making positive changes that improve your parenting, it may lead to more enjoyment in your relationships.

A Kind Heart

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 3:00 PM

Previously I had the privilege of speaking at Heartland Christian Academy to the student body about the importance of having a ‘kind heart.’  Below is the outline of my talk; I would like to encourage you to find the time to sit down with your kids and talk about the importance of having a kind heart. Feel free to use this outline to guide your conversation.

Kind

What does the word ‘kind’ mean?  Examples of being kind:  If you see someone all alone on the playground, what would be the kind thing to do? Ask them if they want to play with you.  If you see someone spill their milk on the floor, what would be the kind thing to do?  Offer to help clean up the spilled milk.  If someone has a cast on their leg, what would be the kind thing to do?  Ask them, “what happened?” and then tell them, “I am sorry that happened.”

Unkind

What does the word unkind mean? Examples of being unkind: An unkind person would ignore the person standing all alone on the playground.  An unkind person would laugh at the person who spilt their milk on the floor.  An unkind person would tease the person who broke their leg.

Share this story with your child/children- A little girl was walking to her table in the cafeteria at school, carrying all her food for lunch on a tray.  In front of 50 other kids, the little girl tripped and dropped her tray of food on the floor.   Her entire lunch was ruined.  The little girl was embarrassed and started to cry.   How would you feel if this happened to you?   What would be the kind thing to do if this happened to someone else?

Main Point- God wants us to have a kind heart!  With a kind heart wonderful things can happen!

Bible Text:  Luke 19:1-9

The Story of Zaccheaus  *Parents, invite one of your children to read the passage!

Read V1-2 

Facts about Zaccheaus:

He was a very short man.  He was a Chief Tax collector.  A Chief Tax Collector is a person who is in charge of a team of tax collectors.   A tax collector collects a certain amount of money from people and then pays the government what is owed.  The problem was that the tax collectors that worked for Zaccheaus, including Zaccheaus, would overcharge the people and Zaccheaus would pocket the difference.   

*Parents, illustrate to your children what this overcharging and pocketing the difference looks like, use 5–$1 dollar bills.  Have one of your children hold the five one dollar bills in their hand, take one dollar out of their hand.   Tell your child, “This is the amount of money owed to the government.” Then take two more $1 bills out of your child’s hand.  Then tell your child that this $ is also owed to the government.” (The lie) Put the $2 in your pocket.  Ask your child, “How would this make you feel if this happened to you?”   

 

Five things to know about a person with a kind heart

1.  A person with a kind heart has a God pleasing attitude toward people (even when they do bad things).                                                                                                

Read V3-4 &7- The crowd was mad at and had a bad attitude towards Zaccheaus and Jesus. 

*Parents, talk about what it means to have a bad attitude toward others with your child/children.                                                                                                                             

 Read V4 Zaccheaus was desperate for the attention from Jesusso he ran ahead and climbed a tree.  People who are desperate for attention will do unusual things to get attention. 

*Parents, talk with your child/children about ways to identify when a person needs attention.  Example: A child who is separated from all the other kids on the playground.

 2.   A person with a kind heart sees people in need.                                                     

 Read V1 & 5 Jesus saw Zaccheaus in the tree from a distance and he knew Zaccheaus was in need.  So Jesus walked over to the tree to talk to Zaccheaus. 

*Parents, ask your child/children, “What are some things that you could do when you see a person all alone on the playground?”   Suggestion:  One thing that you could do is go to them and say, “Hi!”  

 3.  A person with a kind heart cares for people in need.                                             

Read V5 Jesus took the initiative, “He looked up” (focused attention) and said, “Come down immediately, I must stay at your house today.”

*Parents, please explain to your child/children what “focused attention” means.   Focused attention conveys a clear message, “I care about you!”  When you care for people in need you are willing to include them in what you are doing.  

*Parents, explain to your child/children what it means to “include” someone.

 4.  A person with a kind heart spends time with people in need.                                

When you care for people in need you are willing to spend time with them.  Just like spending time playing with the person who was all alone on the playground.  A kind person is willing to spend time with someone needing special attention. 

Read V5 Jesus said, “Come down immediately, I must stay at your house today.” 

*Parents, ask your child/children, “How do you feel when someone asks you to play with them?” 

Read V6 “Zaccheas came down at once and welcomed Jesus gladly.”Zaccheaus was excited that Jesus was willing to spend time with him. 

 5.  A person with a kind heart ignores the negative peer pressure and does what God wants. 

 Read V7 It is never easy to go against the strong opinions of the crowd. The fear of rejection can powerfully persuade us to not do what our heart is telling us to do. 

*Parents, explain to your child/children what it means to “fear rejection.” 

Read V8 Zaccheaus heart was changed when he experienced God’s love through Jesus!

 Why is it important to have a kind heart? 

When we have a kind heart people see God’s love through us.  When Zaccheaus experienced God’s love, through Jesus, his heart was changed.  Zaccheaus realized that he was disobeying God by lying and stealing money, and he asked God to forgive his sins. 

 Read V9     Salvation came to Zaccheaus entire family.  God can do amazing things through your kind heart! 

*Parents, explain to your child/children what salvation means.                                                                                                           

  Ask yourself:  Do I have a kind heart? 

*Parents, please pray with your child/children.   Ask God to help you to have a kind heart.

Undivided Attention

Posted by Doug Giese on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 2:59 PM

Working hard is a high value for most people, but sometimes that value can make our lives imbalanced and work centered. It is ok to set “hardworking” as a value, but there are some key questions that need to be asked. Why are we impressed when people admit to working at least seventy hours per week or more?  What drives a person to work so hard, that at the end of the day they are so exhausted there is nothing left to give to their family?  What are the contributors to being overcommitted to our jobs?

Work can become an idol that you worship morning, noon and night, and the pace can be absolutely invigorating and seemingly fulfilling.  But you can only sacrifice your relationships with family, your relationship with Christ and your physical health for so long before it catches up with you.  Not only do you suffer consequences that may include, stress, headaches, sleeplessness, etc. your family and relationship with the Lord may also suffer. Many families struggle due to dad and/or mom being overcommitted to their place of employment.  When you are physically and emotionally exhausted there is no energy or emotional strength to give to your family.  Your family is worth much more than the extra time at the office. Each day we have a limited time to spend with our children, especially when you are a working parent who needs to be away from home for most of the day.

The prime-time for most families is between the hours of 6:00-8:30 p.m. Time with your children and family should be cherished.  During that prime-time do your children have your undivided attention?  When I answer this question for myself, I immediately think about the first four years as a Youth Pastor in Fergus Falls, Minn.   My life was out of balance.  Work consumed my life; all three parts of my day (morning, afternoon and evening) were filled with work.   One specific evening I remember sitting down for dinner, with my 4 children, waiting for my wife Jan to place that final dish on the table.  While we were waiting my mind drifted off; I was thinking about the next sporting event I had planned to attend after supper.  My body was present at the table, but my mind was somewhere else.  My son, a fourth grader at that time said to me, “Dad where did you go?”  He caught me in the preoccupation of thinking of something else.  My family had my physical body sitting at the table but they didn’t have my focused attention. They deserved a dad who was completely engaged in the moment receiving my undivided attention.

If this problem goes unchanged your child/ren and spouse will conclude that work is more important than they are.  This can cause emotional pain, relational distance and potential rebellion.  Your children and spouse may start to “shut down” emotionally.  It becomes easier emotionally to no longer anticipate spending time with dad or husband.  It is just too hard on the family to live with the constant emotional whip lash of dad or mom not showing up or being at home in body, but not in mind.  In extreme cases, the family never anticipates you being home when they need you.  Be intentional with your time when you are able to be home; try to focus on your spouse and children. That focused time may include shutting off your cell phone for a blocked-off period of time, choosing to not check work email, and engaging your family in conversation/attention.

If you are that parent who is working too much you might be asking, “How do I change?  If I work less will I get fired?  Will people think that I am lazy?”

I want to encourage you to find some answers to these questions. The goal is to find that healthy balance between work and time spent with family.  Important questions to ask are:  Why am I allowing work to consume me?  Why am I so worried about what other people think?  Am I working long hours because there are absolutely no other options?  Am I afraid to talk to my boss about needing to go home earlier? Do I feel needed and valued at work and fear failure at home?   What do I fear if I work less and spend more time with my family?  In the process of answering these questions pray that God would give you wisdom and courage to make the necessary changes.

Finding that healthy balance between work and time with your family is very important.  You have a very short time with your children before they leave the nest, and they deserve and desire your undivided attention.

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Doug Giese

Associate Pastor
Marriage & Family

218-751-3699 doug@bemidjicovenant.com

 

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In the book, Playing For Keeps, Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy have identified six things that every
Saying "I Love You" is Not Enough
 I spend a lot of time listening to adults expressing varying levels of unhappiness in their li
Bed Time
Some of my fondest memories are of the time spent with my kids at bed time. When I wasn’t home
Meal Time
One day last fall I was teaching Introduction to Family Ministry at Oak Hills Christian College. I a
Morning Time
Reggie Joiner in his book Think Orange has a chapter entitled Family Times. In this chapter Reggie h
Preparing Your Child to Leave
I clearly remember the day I left to attend college.  My parents stood on the deck of their hou
Our Home–A Place of Influence
The greatest gift we can give to our families is to live out our faith the same in the privacy of ou
Family Conversation Starters
Creating meaningful conversation with your family can come easily for some, but for the majority of
When Work and Family Collide
Work whether in or out of the house can become not only an occupation but also a preoccupation. 
Keeping Your Word
I remember when I was 5-years-old my parents told me that I could travel with them to pick up some f
No Perfect Parent or Family
Milan and Kay Yerkovich, authors of the book, How We Love Our Kids said, “There is no perfect
Positive Changes, Enjoyable Relationships
Are you creating a relational atmosphere where your children can come to you when they are in need?
A Kind Heart
Previously I had the privilege of speaking at Heartland Christian Academy to the student body about
Undivided Attention
Working hard is a high value for most people, but sometimes that value can make our lives imbalanced