I love Fridays. I really do. This is the day that recharges my personal battery for the week because this is the day that I set aside and strictly guard so I can spend time with my family. One of the lessons that I have learned from some of our empty-nesters and grandparents at Temple is to make the most of these early years with my kids because the years pass so quickly. I see that. I know that. It seems just like yesterday that I was holding Laura Kate in the delivery room. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was getting up multiple times during the night to feed or change Jack. Or wait, was that Benjamin? Now…well, they grow so quickly.
That’s why Friday’s are so special. Time is set aside just to spend with those that will be with me for the rest of my life. These are the days when memories are really made, when relationships are strengthened between parents and children. Some days are planned out well in advance with trips or activities. Other times we wake up and wing it, deciding that morning where we want to go – if anywhere – and what we want to do – if anything. Sometimes we just stay around or play around the house. The key is that no matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’re together.
I know that in today’s challenging economic and job climate some men might be tempted to work longer and harder, sacrificing today for tomorrow. Don’t do it. You’re not promised tomorrow, and the interest you pay by sacrificing time with your family is far too high. So, take one day a week just to spend with your family. Set it aside as an appointment on your calendar – and stick to it. It may take some getting use to for some of you workaholics, but I promise you that you will never regret it.
Today I want to share some of the traits that mark a truly loving family. I know that many of us can look back and see where there were weaknesses in the family that we were raised in. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t begin to make our family the epitome of a loving family today.
The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13, “3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Secrets of loving families
Loving families know how to talk and listen to each other.
Loving families encourage and support each other.
Loving families model respect for each other.
Loving families build trust in each other.
Loving families know how to play and laugh with each other.
Loving families share responsibilities with each other.
Loving families teach each other right and wrong.
Loving families share traditions and rituals with each other.
Loving families balance interaction with each other.
Loving families spend time together with Jesus.
Loving families respect one another’s privacy.
Loving families value service to others.
Loving families gather together for food and fellowship.
Loving families know how to rest together.
Loving families willingly admit when wrong and quickly seek help from each other.
Make it a priority this weekend to spend some time together as a family – playing, sharing, reading, praying, working, resting, laughing, loving. You will never forget it…or regret it.