Using Time Wisely within the Family

Working Together as a Team 

The family unit has changed over the years with both parents working nowadays so it is even more important today for a family to work as a team. Below is a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge is a suspension bridge in which the load-bearing portion is hung below suspension cables. These cables are strands of metal wire twisted together like a rope. Because this cord of three strands is together, it is not easily broken.  Like the golden gate bridge, which is suspended by strands of thick wire, weaved together; the family unit is stronger when all within the unit work together as a team.

The institution of family prepares one for life as each member learns how to cooperate with each other, make decisions, and achieve goals together. These are skills that not only are beneficial in the present but also are valuable skills learned that can be used throughout life in any type of group relationship.

Each family member should contribute to the common purpose by accepting some part of the load. No person should have to do it all. Like Jesus who appointed twelve disciples, it is better to delegate or spread out the tasks at hand even though the tasks may not be done perfect.

The benefits of spreading out the tasks include preparing children for the future when they have their own families. It also allows each individual some private time to recharge. Husband and wife are able spend more time together. Each child gets attention and each sibling gets a chance to build a relationship with each other.

To work as a team, it takes communication. The family’s general schedule for meals and family activities needs to be talked about ahead of time and there should be agreement on time commitments. There should also be encouragement and all should share in the rewards of success.

Being There and Pitching In 

To make the home go, all need to be present and pitching in. The dinner table is a great place to discuss issues and encourage each other. One idea I started when my daughter was around ten is a list of values or inspiring thoughts written down and shared before a family prayer at dinner time.

We have a tremendous responsibility as parents and mentors to those that will follow in our footsteps. The foundation being laid today will determine how bright the future will be. All age groups are needed; the wisdom of the experienced and the energy of the young. Each can do what they do best and fit into God’s plan.

Parenting is one of the most difficult challenges we face and we all need help. Perhaps that is why the subject of parenting shows up a lot in the Bible. The church is God’s best option for loving those in need. Something is fundamentally broken in the world and we all need someone to take us out of the spiritual orphanage and set us on the path to our permanent home.

We are one in Christ as the church with a spirit of adoption that brings others into the family of God by being a leader or mentor; maybe being a Sunday school teacher, working in the nursery or with the youth. God constantly communicates in His Word the importance of being a part of a family.

God created us to help each other. In Joshua 6, the army walked around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day, Joshua’s army walked around the city seven times. They gave one long blast with their trumpets and the walls of the city fell down. Joshua had his army, David his mighty men, and Jesus surrounded himself with the twelve disciples. We should pray for each other and pull for all families to be successful.

Focus on Top Priorities and Quality of Time 

We live in a world today with information overload. There is more computing power in our phones today than in the computers that sent the spaceship to the moon. There are amazing things we can do today if we could just focus in on what is truly important.

Also, the quality of time for a family is more important in today’s world. People are immersed in their own private concerns with little attention to those physically in their presence. If we are not careful, we miss out on what we need to know.

That is why giving full attention to the task at hand, patience, and focus are even more important in the fast-paced/technology driven world in which we live today. Distractions cause mistakes. One push of a button on a phone might destroy relationships by using social media in a harmful way. One click on a computer can wipe out files that took years of work.

On the other hand, there are amazing benefits given to the present generation because of the ingenuity and innovation of previous generations. There have been great advances made over the years. With today’s phone, we have an encyclopedia right at our fingertips. We have available apps that can get us anywhere in the world.

Using Time Saving Software for the Family

A family who lives, works, grows, and has fun together creates lasting memories. The older a person gets to be, the more memories they gather as they meet during holidays, birthdays, and other occasions; celebrating this life now and the one to come.

But every member of the family should accept some responsibility for making the home go. Chores like washing clothes, making beds, lawn care, and meals have to be done. There is available time saving software that can help in the areas of grocery shopping, meal preparation, and vacation planning.

For years, my family has been using software to help with grocery shopping. Here is a link to one example: Link to Grocery List. We keep a printed copy of the grocery list so each family member can add items to the grocery list when they notice the supply running low. This spreadsheet has a tab at the bottom called Item Pool to keep up with price of products at competing stores. There are other tabs like Grocery List 84 that has items organized under categories (Produce, Meds, Isle 3, Isle 4, Isle 5, etc.).  By listing where items are located within your grocery store, shopping is much more efficient.

Another use of software can be for vacation planning. Each family member can make suggestions and contribute to vacation plans. To help with clothing needs, packing, other preparations for vacation, this Link to Vacation Check List has two tabs at the bottom. One is named Vacation Checklist to help with the planning of a vacation. The other tab is named Cloths & Personal Items to help in packing. A check mark can be put in the box beside each item as a way to assure proper planning has been done and all items are packed.

Faith and the Family

Information overload, busyness, and other worldly endeavors separate us from God but if we live out our faith and put our attention on the Lord, the rest will work out and we can make an impact on the world in a positive way. One thing’s for sure, paying attention to our Spiritual life is vital in getting the information we need.

After a time of Bible Study and prayer, I will usually take our family dog on a walk around the neighborhood. During this time, I will reflect on past memories, think about current times, and dream about an amazing future with God forever. The world tells us God is not real but as I go through each day; taking walks and feeling the fresh breeze hitting my face and hearing the sounds of nature that sooths my soul, I know the world is telling a lie and the ONE who created the breeze and unique music of nature is telling the truth.

When the focus is on God for help with finances and relationships, there is a clear advantage. With God by our side, we receive the greatest yield on our endeavors and the power to solve problems multiplies tremendously. Things are done right and the right things are done.

Imagine if we finished what we started, removed all distractions, remembered the reason and the reward, renewed ourselves daily, and resisted discouragement. Imagine if we put our attention on God, let Him work out the tough situations we face, did things according to His timing, and trusted Him in all we do.

 

About Mark Shields

Mark volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. Join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
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