Planting seeds of security within our family is one of the most important tasks we have. Life is full and families run in many directions. Insecurity shows up in different ways. It may be through patterns of defensiveness, always saying sorry, trying to control others, or excessive criticism. Insecurity wears relationships down. When we are intentional about growing seeds of security, we strengthen the fabric of our family unit.
Giving support and creating emotional closeness in a family can be fun! Yet the tending to that growth takes effort, too. We can only change ourselves. Consider these three important ways to challenge yourself in order to be more intentional in weeding and feeding the emotional and spiritual growth of those you love and live with.
1: Challenge the clock.
- Spend time you don’t think you have.
Life is busy. There is no doubt of that. Your calendar is full and so is your head.
Those two things can propel you through your day in a hurried way that leaves little time for tending relationships.
The urgent calls loudly for the moment,
while the important deceivingly feels like it can be put off.
Push back. Reclaim the important. Take that moment that your busy mind tells you you don’t have time for. Important moments often look the opposite. They feel negotiable. Don’t let them be.
Start with five minute injections of focused time.
- Detach from your screen and look at the faces of those you love. What do you see?
- Read a story to a toddler. Slow down and enjoy it rather than hurrying through and skipping words or pages.
- Put some Lego pieces into your kid’s creation together and ask a couple of questions about what they are building. A few minutes on the floor together can be invaluable.
- Give your partner a lingering hug.
- Call a parent to say hello.
- Ask your teen about something specific going on in his/her life and lean in with eye contact to listen. Be interested. Don’t react! Respond with patience.
- Plan a time to play together as a family. Though it seems optional, it isn’t.
You DO have five minutes today. Find it and use it. The results will surprise you.
- Challenge the norms.
What’s going on in your head right now leaves you feeling like there isn’t anything left over to give to anyone else. Our culture encourages us to focus on ourselves. We do need to take care of ourselves. But push back. True fulfillment comes in looking beyond ourselves.
- Look for small ways to do good deeds. Holding doors/ offering to carry something / doing a task without being asked are ways to push back on the idea that life is all about you. Look around.
- Kindness and gentleness go together. Teach gentleness and politeness in a world that is often harsh. Walk it, don’t just talk it.
- Does what you say ‘matters most’ get reflected in your day? In the rushed model our culture has owned as the norm, your values can slip off your radar unless you intentionally challenge yourself. Name your top value now. Does your family know it by your actions?
- Don’t let cutting words become your norm, even when you say they are in fun. In an environment where our goal is to support, build up and create emotional stability, challenge yourself on what comes out of your mouth.
- Your family may not always remember what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
- Challenge yourself to pray.
Challenge yourself to pray for your family everyday, by name, specifically. Ask for God’s help for yourself specifically, too. In our culture prayer is fast becoming a fading sidebar. Keep it front and center. It’s the most valuable thing you can do to provide a secure environment for emotional and spiritual growth for those you love.
Determine today to re-engage in the challenge of building your family’s foundation. Cultural norms have inoculated us from the importance of being called out to this most important role. Choose one baby step of change today and push back to build security within your home.