Regardless of how ready (or not) you feel, the holiday season has begun. And although it may seem too early or as if Christmas was just a few months ago, it’s time to start preparing for two of the biggest holidays of the year. Take some time this week of Thanksgiving to be thankful, especially for those you are enjoying your Thanksgiving meal with. This year, resolve to protect family time together before the chaos of the next month begins. Jimmy and Laura Seibert write about learning to value family time in their book Parenting Without Regret. Now that their kids are grown, it makes coming home so much sweeter.
“The relationships in your family are some of the few that will last a lifetime,” writes Laura. “Though it requires effort and sacrifice, there is no substitute for raising a family that truly enjoys each other.” Jimmy and Laura chose to make family time a priority as their children were growing up, often reserving one day out of the week for a family night together.
The Seibert’s second daughter, Lauren, recalls the time she spent with family as a child. “My parents repeatedly said, ‘Everyone else may move or leave, but family will always be there for you.’ Hanging out with our family was fun and central! Our greatest memories of growing up were being together and having fun with our family. Now that we are older, my parents and siblings are my first go-to.”
In Parenting Without Regret, Jimmy and Laura tell stories of family vacations, family nights together, and traditions they formed throughout the years. Jimmy offers some practical advice for parents looking for creative ways to spend time with their kids. “To this day, our kids feel more comfortable with each other than with anybody else on the planet. Because we valued their relationships, they valued their relationships. Things like daily meals, games, praying for one another, resolving conflicts, and being on mission together created a family that truly enjoys one another.”
No matter if you’ve prioritized family time in the past or not, try setting aside some time to be together this week. Your kids will remember the time you spent, just like Lauren and her siblings. Your choices now may be creating memories and developing relationships your kids will be thankful for later. And in the end, remember that God created families and intended for these relationships to be significant and long-lasting.
“God designed family to be a place of belonging; He intended for it to be a safe place of support where each other is truly known,” Laura shares. “Live intentionally now to build deep relationships. Choose to prioritize time together over the countless other distractions. Years from now, when all your kids are grown, you will never regret the hours spent building deep friendships. Your investment today will last a lifetime.”
Read Laura and her husband Jimmy’s book Parenting Without Regret to hear more stories, practical advice, and Christian insight into the seemingly daunting task of parenthood. You can purchase the book on our website or through Amazon.