Recently, my wife lovingly corrected me. And while I cringed, I couldn’t help but agree with her after she had shared her heart. She was completely right. Her concern? It always seemed I was “working” on my day off by prioritizing my long to-do list over her and the kids. There is something I’d been taking for granted: My family. My wife 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 painful to hear what my wife had to say, I’m thankful she was willing to say it. I had been taking my family for granted, and I didn’t even know it. Sometimes family is the first thing we find ourselves taking for granted—and that’s easy to do without always realizing we’re doing it. We do it by mixing up priorities and focusing on things that really aren’t what matter 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 by your lack of interest and involvement with the family.
She wants you to invest more time into her and the kids than you do into your work or your hobbies, but you still don’t seem to see the problem. She must just be overreacting again, right?
5. It’s hard to remember the last time you played in the snow with your kids or played ball in the back yard.
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 back yard (if you’re physically able), you might be wasting precious memories that are easy to make. You’ll never get this time back. You might be taking your family for granted if you can pass up easy opportunities to make lasting memories without being bothered by that.
6. You’re in the habit of saying no before you even hear them out.The precious moments we have with our children are fleeting, and we can’t afford to take them for granted.
Your 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 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 intentional response. The precious moments we have with our children are fleeting, and we can’t afford to take them for granted.
Sound off: What advice would you give to a man who’s been taking his family for granted?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How do you make someone feel special?”