Family Times and More

January 13, 2014

We call them family traditions, family rituals, renewal or relationship building activities. Stephen R. Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, refers to this aspect of family culture as "sharpening the saw".

Sharpening the saw in the home means regularly and consistently taking time to share love, build strong bonds among family members, and create memories toward more peaceful and rewarding family life. What traditions have been most renewing, enriching and powerfully bonding in your family life over the years? What have provided your family members fun, taught them values, and opened the avenues of communication? What are those sharpening-the-saw activities which have helped you create, upgrade and nurture a beautiful family spirit?

Family Meals

Since all of us have to eat, it's often through the stomach that the heart and soul are reached. In a busy life such as most of us find ourselves, even one meal a week should be planned differently from all the rest -- no TV and unhurried. Some families have that kind of special time on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. Here they prepare some simple but special food not eaten any day during the week. In a relaxed atmosphere the whole family gather at the table over a well-prepared, appetizing, and nutritious meal. Their partaking of a special bounties is prefaced by bowing of heads and giving God thanks for the abundance from His loving hands. Then there's listening, sharing experiences, learnings, and laughter. The family table thus becomes an altar more than just an eating counter.

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays

Of course most families celebrate these individual milestones and special days such as Christmas, New Year, etc. with a lot of eating and merrymaking. That's all right, but these traditions can be reinforced by including the values we want to teach through these rituals - service, unselfishness, creativity, decision - making, etc.

The worth of our family traditions depends on the fun they provide, the values they teach, the relationship and bonding they enhance, the unity and shared understanding they create among the family members.

Doing Things Together

Vacationing, playing, learning and working together sharpen the saw for families. Planning these activities isn't just a tradition - it's a vital need especially today.

There's nothing that can bind and bond more effectively than worshiping together. Attending church services together helps one find the strength  in supporting one another in working and serving the church and community.

"sharpening the saw" in your own family and in your marriage puts in a refreshing deposit in the emotional bank account and regenerates commitment. it is worth all your time, money and effort.

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