There are just some things in life that are non-negotiable. They are top priorities and unless the apocalypse occurs, these things won’t take a back seat to other stuff that might come up. Because our family has been struggling lately to find enough time to make everything fit in a 24-hour span, I thought I’d spend a few minutes today sharing some of our family’s non-negotiables. Here are our family priorities (in no particular order):
Each day, we will spend a little time as a family reflecting on God’s goodness, His holiness and our thankfulness to Him for all He’s done for us. Most days it is formal enough to include scripture, prayer, a song and some discussion. While at this age, Annie doesn’t understand a lot about God, there is a lot she DOES understand – ask her who made the world. Ask her why mommy and daddy are in charge and have to teach her to obey. Ask her what we do at church. She knows. And Andy will learn. Our family time focused on God is precious and something we make time for every day.
Church as a Family
Similar to the one above, we go to church as a family. Unless one of us has the plague, we get up every Sunday morning, put on our nice clothes and make the drive to church. There, we listen, participate and give praise to God. “I don’t want to go” is not an acceptable answer. “I don’t feel like it” isn’t either. We will go to church as a family.
Our Family Rules
A few weeks ago, Stacy shared our family rules with you. Unlike the popular phrase proclaims, “rules are meant to be broken,” we don’t buy that in the Myers household. Rules exist to give us boundaries so we can live more freely INSIDE them. Notice only one of our rules is negative – “no whining or complaining” – the rest are positive. We use rules to help set a clear measuring stick for the way our household operates and living by those rules is a big deal in our home. So if you’re coming over, you’d better be willing to obey. ;0)
Playing AND Working Together
Some families are SUPER intense and others are SUPER laid back. Watch the show WifeSwap for proof. We fall somewhere in the middle and we like it that way. We make a diligent effort to play together and to work together. If I’m outside doing yard work, Annie is probably digging along with me and Andy will be joining the ranks soon (slave labor? Nah…good parenting). Dinner at the Myers home – a team effort. Stacy may cook, but Annie sets the table while I make sure Andy is in his seat. Then after we eat, I manage Annie and Andy while Stacy does dishes. We make it happen TOGETHER. When we get the chance to do something fun, you will rarely find one of us there – the whole clan shows up for the fun. We don’t have many “individual” activities – we’re a family!
Mommy and Daddy are in Charge
You’ve met him – the spoiled brat who makes everyone miserable. His parents “just don’t know what to do with him” so all they do is say “whatever you want, honey” and live in constant misery and servitude to the little dictator they’ve created. That ain’t how it works around here. Daddy is the boss in most cases with Mommy pulling a close second. Annie and Andy are not in charge. God didn’t create adolescence for developing leadership skills in children. There’s a reason those little terrorists you see at the mall, screaming just enough to get their way, are the way they are. While we’re learning we have at least one very strong-willed child (jury’s still out on Andy), it just means we get the bigger opportunity to shape her strengths. (…Or at least that’s what I’m going to remind myself when she’s disobeyed for the 30th time in an hour.)
What about you? What are some of the non-negotiables in your house?