In the Bible, John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” I see that verse both as an encouragement for our faith, but also as a challenge to live our lives as He would have us live. As parents, does your family simply live together, or are you encouraging the family to live abundantly?
It’s dinnertime. Mom ordered pizza and it will be delivered in 20 minutes. Sally is watching YouTube on her computer in her room, Jake is gaming on his computer. Husband Al is grumbling over the TV news broadcaster’s opinion about today’s news.
The doorbell chimes and mom retrieves the pizza from the delivery person, without leaving a tip. She yells, “Dinner’s here!” Her family pause their electronics, retrieve slices of pizza, and return to their activities to eat alone.
This scenario plays out in families across America every day. These folks are having life. The parents are meeting family needs. Nobody’s fussing. Everybody’s content, if not happy.
According to the Book of John, 10:10, this family is having life, that is, surviving. But Jesus calls us to have life abundantly, that is, thriving. As parents in your family, are you meeting your children’s functional needs only, or are you encouraging an abundant family life?
It’s dinnertime. Mom’s had an equally rough day and asks family members if they would mind having pizza for dinner. The children and husband, Al, each stop their activities long enough to answer mom’s question and to suggest toppings and extras. In 20 minutes the doorbell chimes and the pizza is delivered.
Mom has asked Sally to set the table while mom calls Sally’s brother and dad from their activities. Dad comes right away, but mom needs to playfully pry Jake away from his gaming. With the family gathered at the dinner table, an electronics-free zone in the home, Al blesses the food and the family digs in amidst playful banter and inquiries about the day’s activities.
Most of us do functional very well. The challenge is, however, to live your life and to encourage your family to live life abundantly.