Well, it is time to put a wrap on summer unless you live in Houston – then you know we have a couple more months to enjoy the heat and humidity. But kids heading back to school is a marker for the end of summer. I hope you have made some memories as a family – maybe a special trip, a fishing outing or a summer camping experience.
Before you get back into the hustle & bustle of school and extra-curricular activities, I encourage you to commit time for each family member to reflect on a highlight of their summer. It can be around the dinner table or other family setting. Listen well to what is conveyed and you will gain insight into how you can continue to connect and grow in relationship with your kids as they mature.
“That is why we said, ‘Let us get ready and build an altar – but not for burnt offerings or sacrifices.’ On the contrary, it is to be a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the Lord at His sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices and fellowship offerings. Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours, ‘You have no share in the Lord.’” – Joshua 22:26-27. The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh had settled on the east side of the Jordan, land Moses had given them. The altar served as a connector for generations to come, to help all remember that even though the Jordan separated them from the other tribes of Israel they were still one family worshiping the same God. It is good to remember where you belong. While we may not build an altar, when life happens it is good to see remembrances of family experiences via stories, pictures or other mementoes. It is important to make time to reflect and establish connections that will endure.
It was not an altar. It was a sleeping bag inherited from a key father-figure in his life. Forty-five years after that first backpacking experience with his uncle, the sleeping bag still provides a wonderful connection with stories shared around that trip. Specific memories of hiking across Isle Royale National Park together, swimming in Lake Superior and talking around the campfire that summer so long ago come flooding back when he pulls the bag out for a trip of his own. A connection that has endured.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your Word that provides connection to You. I have failed to stay connected as You expect me to through daily time in scripture and prayer. I have also failed to commit time to reflect on experiences enjoyed as a family in a way that will help those connections endure. Forgive me. I want to glorify You in my family by committing time to share stories around the experiences we have enjoyed this summer. Help me establish connections with You, with my bride and with each child that will endure. That is the dad You call me to be, and that’s the dad my kids need. Amen.
A faithful father commits time to establish connections that will endure.