If you want to have a long lasting and smooth running vehicle, every few months you need to take the time to get your oil changed. In addition, every now and then, you may even need to get get an alignment or other routine maintenance done.
Why do we do those things? I’ll guarantee you it’s probably not because we want to or because we just have extra money lying around. It’s because we understand the necessity of protecting our investment by keeping our vehicle running smoothly and functioning properly for the long haul.
Over time and with use, fresh oil is needed, and the bumps in the road require that some adjustments be made. It may not be overly noticeable at first, but the longer you leave it unattended, the worse it will continue to get.
The same is often true in our families. We have much invested, and in fact, there may be no greater investment we make in our lifetime.
But over time, with the bumps in the road of life, our family sometimes needs a routine adjustment, and some “fresh oil” to help get everyone back on the same page.
One of the ways we’ve found helpful to make this happen is by having routine family meetings. These meetings help us implement the necessary tweaks to getting things that have gotten slightly out of alignment back to running smoothly and evenly again.
Here are 3 important reasons why it may just be time for you to have a family meeting:
1) To Establish Organization
I Corinthians 14:40 reminds us to “Let all things be done decently and in order.” This would include the family. God never designed for the family to be a hodge-podge, shoot from the hip, whatever happens happens, kind of institution. He established the family as the cornerstone for intentional passing down of faith and values to future generations, who would then be able to do the same for more future generations.
I believe that God expects us to have a biblical game plan for our families. This requires more than good intentions. It requires implementing tangible steps of action. One such step can be family meetings. Many of us have regular and routine meetings for work, for ministry, and for other areas of life, in order to keep things running smoothly, so why not for the family? Meetings are not always fun, but they are often necessary.
2) To Explain Expectations
We had our most recent family meeting a few weeks ago, and much of the purpose of that meeting was to clarify and re-establish some expectations that had gotten lax over time. So rather than us continuing to get frustrated with one another because of family expectations not being met, we came up with a plan, and got the family together to go over that plan for how to realign our priorities and expectations.
We also use this family meeting time to give our kids the #1 area we want them to currently focus on improving in (sometimes it’s a school subject or other challenge, but most often it’s a character trait we’re currently trying to help them develop). These family meetings are a separate event from doing family devotions, because they have a uniquely different purpose.
By doing these meetings, we’ve found it makes family life better for everyone. Less confusion for the kids, more accountability for the parents, and ultimately less stress for everyone. Why? Because everyone knows what the expectations are and the accompanying consequences of them not being met.
3) To Get On the Same Page
Following our routine family meetings, we find that just like an oil change or alignment, our home runs more smoothly and effectively. This also gives us an opportunity for greater family unity and camaraderie.
One of the greatest areas this has helped with in our family is relieving stress for my wife by helping hold the kids accountable during the day to the same standards they are accountable dad is present. I don’t know about your family, but my kids often have more of a tendency to take advantage of mom when I’m not around.
In addition to some good old fashioned discipline, family meetings have helped us to get on the same page and to nip things like that in the bud, as well as to focus on other priorities of family life that we feel need to be discussed.
“As a family, we’re on the same team. So shouldn’t we also be on the same page?”
In my opinion, the value of regularly sitting down together with your family and getting everyone on the same page cannot be over emphasized. I’d encourage you to try it, and find out for yourself!
So… is a family meeting long overdue in your home?
Do you already do family meetings? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Or, if you have questions, feel free to let me know.