Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bring the Family Together

There’s an old family tradition which seems to be slipping by the wayside. That is, the tradition of sitting down and eating together. When I was growing up, it was a rare thing that the whole family didn’t sit down at the dinner table together. Even when everyone was busy, you could count on us all being together at dinner time.

Nowadays, it seems like it takes an event to bring us all together. Everyone is so busy with the activities of their own lives, that we have trouble finding time to just sit down and eat together. As crazy as it seems, that’s the reality in which I live.

Maybe your family doesn’t have that problem. Maybe you kids are still small, your life is more ordered and you come home from work at the end of the day to sit down as a family around the dining room table. If you do, enjoy it while you can.

Part of the problem for me is that my kids are all grown up and have their own lives. They’re not married yet and two of them still live at home, but they have their own jobs, school, friends and church activities which take up their time. Because of that, we rarely can find time to all be together.

Okay, so what does this have to do with romance? Well, your kids are very important to your wife (yeah, I know, they’re important to you too, but not so much as to her). She misses them and misses being able to spend time with them. She misses being able to sit down for dinner together. Remember, she’s more relationship oriented than you are, so it’s a bigger deal for her than it is for you.

We recently discovered an old family tradition that has never been much a part of our family. That’s the tradition of going out to eat after church on Sunday. Except when we were traveling in ministry, we never really did that. But now we are.

Part of the reason we never did it was financial; paying $100 a week for the family to go out to eat can be a real drain on the budget. For years that was an impossibility for us, even if we had wanted to do so. But even when we could have done so, the financial strain made us hold those times off at arms length. But, as I’ve grown a little bit older, I’ve realized that money was an excuse. We could make it work, all we had to do was decide it was important.

So, we decided that. Guess what? We’re still managing to pay all the bills, keep gas in the cars and eat descent the rest of the week. But now, we’re going out to eat as a family after church, just so that we can spend the time together.

Is this romantic? No, not in the direct sense, but it is in an indirect sense. You see, having the family get together on a regular basis makes my wife feel more complete. It helps her be more at peace. It helps to validate her as an individual. That may not be romantic in the direct sense, but it sure helps her feel better, which helps the rest of the romance go that much better.

So, what are you doing this Sunday after church?

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