In my last blog post, I made the possibly radical assertion that families should strive for closeness or affection based on that of the Trinity! This is an impossibly high standard, but that is what the kingdom of heaven is all about—standards too high for mere mortals. I also hinted that there were two areas of closeness: relationally and physically. Lastly, I suggested that we could always push towards greater family intimacy.
If we are going to move forward, we must have some idea about the ingredients for closeness. One ingredient must be the idea of sharing experiences. This is easily seen in how the bond between an infant and a mother grows strong. A good mother constantly holds and touches her baby as she talks to and cares for him or her. Most of the child’s experiences in the world has at its core, the mother. The point is this: mother and baby share in thousands of significant and insignificant experiences together. If we want a tighter bond in our families, we should check how much the family experiences together.
Sharing a room makes for closer siblings…up to a point. Sharing meals makes for a tighter family (as long as everyone puts the electronic devices down). Going on a road trip, pulling weeds, family photo shoots, listening to a book being read aloud, family devotions, going to church together, and a thousand other ideas are all available for the picking.
Of course a family cannot, nor should, do everything together. Privacy has its rewards too. Even so, we can build connections when we intentionally spend time with each other.
As children grow older, they naturally spend less time with their family as school, friends, sports, and other things have their place. But for many of us, we need to fight against the tide that allows these things to take over and make time to have experiences together.
What will you do this week to intentionally create a shared experience?