Surprise! We came up with number thirty so that all you even number types could finish the series with a sense of closure. Enjoy and thanks for joining us.
30. Build family unity. I am not so sure if this is another affirmation suggestion or actually more the result of practicing the previous twenty-nine. Here are some practical steps to build family unity. Pray together. Practice good communication. Teach your kids to share. Stay involved. Say “yes” as often as you can. Have a plan. (We are more likely to say “no” out of convenience when we don’t have a plan.) Have everyone contribute to mundane jobs. Affirm, affirm, affirm. Agree on a schedule that reduces fatigue and time pressure. Nip sibling rivalry. Ask the older kids to sacrifice for the younger ones. Assign your older kids the role of pacesetter, setting the example of behavior for their younger siblings. Read the Bible together. Eat your meals together – great conversation opportunities. Share the experience of carrying out life’s duties together. Teach your children how to compensate and compete. Celebrate life.
As I have said before, these affirmation ideas are not just another “to-do” list to add to your already overworked schedule. They are a way of doing life together. They are a way of relating to each other in your home. They are not an added burden, but a natural flow of intentional choices to relate to each other in affirming ways.
As the movie Toy Story 2 opens, Rex the toy dinosaur is once again defeated by the evil Zurg in a video game (due to the fact that his arms are too short to jump and fire at the same time). However, Rex eventually gets his revenge when, later in the movie, he accidentally knocks Zurg and his ion blaster down an elevator shaft with his tail, saving Buzz from certain ruin. Rex proudly proclaims, “I did it! I finally defeated Zurg!” Later, back at Andy’s house, Hamm requests Rex’s assistance with the video game. Rex, fresh off his defeat of Zurg, responds, “I don’t need to play the game, I LIVED IT!”
May that be your family’s exclamation as well. These ideas were not just good theory. These ideas were not put on the shelf waiting for the kids to get older. These ideas were not lost to laziness or procrastination or busyness. One of your greatest antidotes to being left with a house full of regret when your children move on is to take action now. Then your whole family can look back together and say, “WE LIVED IT!”