taking for granted

You Might Be Taking Your Family for Granted If…

Recently my wife lovingly corrected me. And while I cringed to hear what she had to say, I couldn’t help but agree with her after she had shared her heart because she was completely right. Her concern? That it always seemed that I was “working” on my day off, by prioritizing my long to-do list over her and the kids.

She graciously expressed her desire for my day off to be more about time spent with her and the kids by doing things that mattered to them, more than prioritizing getting my list done. And I’d have to admit, I was guilty as charged. While it was terribly painful to hear what my wife had to say, I’m thankful that she was willing to say it. I had been guilty of taking my family for granted, and I didn’t even know it. Taking for granted your loved ones is easy to do without always realizing we’re doing it, by mixing up priorities, and focusing on things that really aren’t what matters most. You might be taking your family for granted, if…

1. Other less important things get more of your time than they do.

When friends, sports, or hobbies start consuming more of your free time than your family gets, those you love are sure to notice.

2. You find yourself regularly enjoying time alone more than time with your family.

This might include hiding in your room on the computer, or out in the garage doing your own thing, or being with your family in person, but not truly being present.

3. Your kids repeatedly ask for your time and attention, but your list of excuses keeps getting longer and longer.

You always have a good reason why you can’t play, ride bikes, or watch what they’re doing at the moment. Sometimes, your phone or device gets more of your attention than they do.

4. Your spouse is frustrated at your lack of interest and involvement with the family.

She wants you to invest more time into her and the kids than you do your work or your hobbies, but you still don’t seem to see the problem. She must just be over-reacting again, right?

5. It’s hard to remember the last time you played in the snow with your kids or played ball in the backyard.

If an entire winter or summer has gone by, and you’ve not built a snowman, engaged in a snowball fight, or played some catch in the backyard (if you’re physically able), you might be wasting precious memories that could easily be given, but that you’ll never get back. You might be taking your family for granted if you can pass up easy opportunities to make lasting memories without it bothering you.

6. You’re in the habit of saying no before you even hear them out.

Our family wants and needs to be heard. When we listen to them and what their words and hearts are telling us, it shows that we care about their thoughts and their feelings. Rather than just saying “no” because it’s the easiest thing to do, let’s be sure to hear them out, and give them what they deserve – an evaluated and intentional response.

The precious moments we have with our children are fleeting, and we can’t afford to take them for granted.

Sound Off

Are you taking your family for granted in any of these ways?

Andrew Linder

Andrew is a husband and the father of four awesome kids. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation.

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