How can you create healthy family rhythms?

Today’s devo is an excerpt from Grace Driscoll and Ashley Chase’s new book Flourish: A Ten Day Devotional for Moms. To get a free PDF copy, click HERE and to get a physical copy for your gift of any amount during the month of May, click HERE.

“…While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” -Genesis 8:22

Being a mom requires thinking in hours, days, weeks, and years. Many days feel long as we change diapers and do laundry, but then we blink and our kids are grown up and going off to college. It is important to keep a long-term mindset about habits and traditions that make up your family.

While raising little kids, I often got so caught up in the day-to-day tasks that I had a a harder time thinking about traditions, fun outings, vacations, and special events. I handled birthday parties, playdates with friends, and outings during the month, and thankfully Mark enjoyed everything else. Our main goal was for our kids to have a balance of rhythm, routine, and fun so that they experienced both stability and special things to look forward to. 

Now that we have older kids, our traditions have changed, as not all of our kids come to every single holiday. We allow them freedom to start their own family, as the Bible instructs, instead of forcing them to conform to our nuclear family. We always leave the invitation open for our kids to join us, but never have the expectation that they will want to celebrate in the same way we do.

This season of life tests how well we did at building a relationship with our kids in the earlier years. If it was all about the extremes of constant discipline or letting them raise themselves, then a relationship may not have been nurtured in a healthy way. Don’t get me wrong, our kids need training and discipline as they’re growing up, but it should always build trust and a deeper relationship.

It’s like a bank account, as we put in deposits of encouragement, trust, love, empathy, and being present then when we need to make withdrawals it won’t bankrupt the relational account. Think and pray about what kind of relationship you are building with your child and center it around joy! Brain science has shown that when we form joy bonds and attachment with our kids, they will be more emotionally and relationally healthy adults.

In terms of weekly rhythm, the idea of Sabbath is something we unfortunately didn’t practice regularly until more recent years. God made us with internal rhythms of 6 days of work and 1 day of rest, just as He did when He made us. The Sabbath provides a day to slow down, reflect, spend quality time as a family, and evaluate how to spend the next week. 

We find that our family is most healthy when we give God our time each day in prayer and reading the Word, spending a day resting in Him each week, and plan fun activities that honor Him above and beyond our normal routines. 

How is your Sabbath time as a family? Ask God to help you set aside that time so you have strength for the rest of the week. 

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