Saturday, November 3, 2012

Building a Family

My parents and their children with their families and my Grandparents.
I am so thankful the God designed things so that we all would get to be part of a family. A family starts with a man and a woman who decide that they would rather spend life together than apart.

 I am thankful that my parents decided 40 years ago tomorrow to join their lives together. They chose to have a family and I feel very blessed to be a part of it.

 Our family is blessed to be very close and we thoroughly enjoy being together when we are able. I have been asked before to share what has caused our family to be so close and then I was reminded of that subject again this year when one day a sister called me up just to remind me how very blessed we were. She had been observing a family that didn't seem to enjoy being together and was so glad that ours was not that way.

   I have been thinking on this subject of family closeness (something that I would guess pretty much all families would like) and so I thought I would share my thoughts of why I think our family is close and also maybe ideas for you to use as well. I would also love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

  In the first place I think the closeness our family shares is one that was promoted by my parents. They taught us this in many different ways.

Here are some of the things that I think contribute:
  • They love God deeply and sincerely and gave us an example of that and each of us kids do as well. We are striving to pass that legacy on to our own children.
  • Our parents love each other. They showed that to us throughout our growing up years through the ways that they acted and the things that they said. We saw them give each other a kiss regularly as well as other physical touch. They did not argue. They spoke/speak positively about the other person.
  • Our parents loved us. Our family has never been one that does a lot of hugging or physical touch (not that I think that a bad thing at all- that simply wasn't my parents nature) but they showed us there love by so many actions and words of affirmation and also by disciplining us when we needed it.
  • Our parents expected us to love each other. We did love each other and enjoy each other too. I have seen sometimes where parents will say things about how their kids need their space or need to spend time with others so that they can get away from their siblings for a while and other stuff like that. We kids had other friends too but our main friends were our siblings.  We weren't without a fight but those we generally pretty short lived.  Even now today my parents help promote our relationships with each other by sharing news about the other siblings with us so that we all feel connected even if we aren't getting to talk to a sibling regularly.
  • Our parents homeschooled us. This caused us to spend more time together and to learn to enjoy each other.
  • Our parents took us camping. Okay this one might seem silly but I do think camping together helps to build stronger relationships.
  • We were a family- we were a team -a group. Most things we did were done in a group. We still had our own personalities and talents but when we did fun things we did them usually together. We truly shared life. Though I did have my own private violin lessons and there were some other things like that we didn't do things like participate in sports where everyboyd goes off with their own age group, etc.
  • My parents didn't have a lot of rules for us- They guided us through life according to God's word and explained the guidelines that they did give us. They were definetely the ones in authority in the home but at the same time we did all (parents and kids alike) truly enjoy being together and my parents were and still are some of my very best friends. We were both sheltered in some good ways but also allowed the freedom that we needed to grow and become independent and ready for adulthood.
  • We worked together - whether it was washing dishes, working on the farm, building, doing church work or whatever - we usually worked together. That builds teamwork.
I am sure there are many other things that contribute to a close family but those are the things I can think of right now when my brain is shutting down for the night. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you both very much!


Nola said...

I really enjoyed reading this. You certainly are VERY blessed to have what you have. I do not have this but desire it for my own family I started with my husband. I did not grow up in a Christian home and my parents are divorced. My husband grew up in a Christian home but they are not close. We are desiring better relationships with both families and working towards that as well as working on promoting closeness with our own family.

Ways that I see I need to improve this in my own life and some ideas I have are: to make sure I don't let my "to do list" get in the way of building relationships. To make sure we do fun family activities together (like you said camping- I understand why you say that and agree but I think the basic thing is doing things that are fun as a family). Also I totally agree on that not doing things all separated as the general rule. I also see that homeschooling helps a lot to promote that. I see that in my husband's family not much was done as a family other than family meals (and my husband agrees this was the case) and so now the siblings barely speak to each other- so sad.

Abbi said...

I agree - I was very blessed.
May God truly bless you too as you strive to have a strong family!


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