Find Rest for Your Family
- Monday, January 19, 2009
Serve while you’re suffering. Whenever you’re suffering in some way, your relief may come not from the problem suddenly disappearing, but from the strength you develop from serving in spite of it. Instead of just waiting for the problem to go away, decide to serve others while you’re dealing with the problem, and God will give you rest in the process. When you accept what you can’t change and choose to serve anyway, you’ll be transformed as you serve into a stronger and more peaceful person.
Manage your expectations well. Live to please God, not other people. The more you measure your significance by other people’s expectations of you or by how well you think you compare to their accomplishments and possessions, the less rest you’ll experience in your life. Discipline your desires by pursuing legitimate goals and making the most of your current circumstances. Ask God to help you develop priorities that will sustain you well and give you peace both now and in the future.
Steward your strengths well. Discover your God-given talents and spiritual gifts, develop them, and use them to the fullest. When you’re a good steward of the strengths God has given you, you’ll feel calm inside and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re contributing well to the world. Read and study the Bible often so its principles will soak into your soul and you can consistently make the best choices about how to use your talents and gifts. Aim to use your time well, too, investing it generously into what has eternal significance.
Balance technology with the rest of your life. Use technology for your benefit rather than allowing it to overtake your life. Pray for the discernment to know when to check your e-mail or listen to your IPod, and when to log off and turn off so you can interact with other people face to face. Choose carefully which sites you visit on the Internet and which TV shows and other media you watch; make sure you only spend time on what’s worthwhile. Give yourself adequate time for quiet reflection each day.
Bring rest to your marriage. No matter what pressures or uncertainties you and your spouse are currently dealing with, you both can enjoy a restful relationship if you remained committed to each other’s needs and best interests regardless of the cost. Every day, pray for God to help you express unconditional love to each other. Learn how to use your differences to complement each other and enrich the life you share together.
Give your kids the gift of rest. You can pass on an heritage of rest to your kids if you make it a high priority to invest in their lives. Deliberately make choices every day to spend as much time as possible with your children. Be willing to make sacrifices in other areas of your life – like your career and volunteer work – in order to be there for your kids as often as you can. Do all you can to help meet their inner needs for secure love, significant purpose, and strong hope. Raise them in an environment designed to produce a sense of calm confidence that will prepare them well for adulthood. Give them rest for their bodies by making sure they eat a nutritious diet and get enough sleep every day. Give them rest for their emotions by giving them plenty of affection (meaningful touch and affirming words), teaching them to express their emotions in healthy ways, and helping them learn to base their decisions on unchanging biblical truth rather than on their changing emotions. Give them rest for their minds by helping them use their creativity to overcome restlessness and solve problems.
Instead of isolating your kids from exposure to different value systems, teach them the critical thinking skills they need to make their own decisions about values, which will ultimately help them make their faith their own. Give them spiritual rest by letting them know that they are deeply loved by a personal God. Help them rest in the eternal security found in a personal relationship with Jesus. Pray with them and for them, help them read the Bible, and participate in church together. Give them grace, just as God gives grace to you.
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