Monday, 12 September 2011

Can You Juggle

For some reason I have always wanted to be able to juggle. I even purchased “Juggling for Dummies” in hopes of gaining this elusive skill. I have come to appreciate that juggling three balls is much simpler that juggling the demands on today’s parents, particularly those families with two wage earners (or a single parent).

A family with two or more children could spend twenty percent of their day on the road, driving from one sporting event or cultural activity to another. Heaven forbid that your child shows any talent because now they have traveling teams in addition to the regular season. Housework, grocery shopping and the countless errands necessary to keep a house running are sandwiched in between work and chauffeuring.

Now back to juggling. I have been told that one secret to successful juggling is to keep your eye on the object at the top of the arc (not that I could prove this to be correct). The top object in juggling the demands of life must be the Lord. Here’s where the ball analogy falls apart because unlike the balls that rotate, it is imperative that God remains at the top of the arc. We must keep our focus on Him.

To do better than just survive we must set priorities. Pardon my bias but after God our marriages must be the next thing we focus on. No activity will have the positive long-term effect on your children than to experience firsthand a God glorifying marriage. Couples should carve out specific times during the week, month and year and put them on the calendar.

Now you can expect that the Evil One will attack you because the last thing he wants to see is a strong marriage. He will make you feel guilty that you aren’t doing more. He will get you to compare yourself to others, i.e. their houses are cleaner, their kids are in more activities, they make more money, etc. He will provide every excuse imaginable as to why you can’t have a date night or a long weekend away. Be intentional about your marriage.

Set aside specific times every week to talk. Make it a rule that you can’t talk about the house or the kids, those conversations will come naturally. Schedule two date nights a month. It doesn’t have to be expensive, i.e. pack a picnic, go for a walk or get an ice cream cone. Get away, just the two of you, at least once a year. A long weekend would be great. Recruit a neighbor, friend, relative or church member to stay with your children and perhaps you can return the favor.

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