By Mandy Kelly, Contributing Writer
With the holidays quickly approaching, I am finding that I am thinking about my kids… a lot! Now, this isn’t a bad things at all! I love my kids, they light up my life and bring me so much joy!
Yet, there are seasons of life where I just feel like my priorities get a little out of balance, and they quickly take the the wrong place in my life. If I let them, they will slowly begin to crowd out the spaces in my heart and mind that are were taken by Jesus first, and my husband second. When this happens, life is upside down, and I quickly find myself trying to row a paddle in a sinking ship- and often without the help of the captain or His first mate in my life.
So how do we keep our relationship priorities right, when the focus of Christmas is pushed on our kids? I have four ways to help us out:
4 Tips for Balancing Relationships During Christmas
1) Focus our hearts on Christ.
We need to remember that Christ should be our number one priority- at Christmas, when it is all about His birth- and the other 365 days of the year! I feel like I write about this topic a lot, but the truth is there.
Christ gave His everything for me, and I don’t think it was convenient for Him. We need to quit waiting for the convient moments to spend time With God, and realize that unless our relationship with God is right- none of our relaitionships here on Earth can be right. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Any love I have for anyone else in my life should flow out of my love for Him, otherwise, I am not loving them right.
2) Feed the Fire for our Spouse.
We need to keep our Spouse as that number two position- right under God. I remember Christmas when my husband and I were dating. We spent so much time thinking about what we are going to buy for each other, making new holiday traditions, anad drinking in the romance of the season. Now, it is a hussel of shopping for gifts, arranging outfits for parties, and then we remember, a last minute gift that is suppose to be from the heart. We get so focused on what everyone else needs and wants from us during the holiday season we forget to slow down and spend time with the gift that God gave us- our spouse!
We need to make sure we are taking time to connect togther. This may be simple things like making sure you take time to talk, going to bed at the same time, planning a few special holiday dates, or just doing life together by doing the shopping and wrapping as a duo! Don’t let either one of you wear all the responsibility for getting things done for all the fetivities- do it together, and make it time that you connect! A warm fireplace, a cozy blanket, a lit Christmas tree with “It’s A Wonderful Life” makes for a great little “stay home” date night!
3. Say NO!
Don’t think that every invitation you receive has to have an RSVP with a YES! Remember that saying No is sometimes saying YES to yourself- and your family! Be choosy with how much you go.
4. Focus your Family on the Reason for the Season.
I know this sounds like a copy of the first step, and it is. However, this time, take it from the personal perspective of YOU and take it to your whole family. Choose some activities you can do together that will focus your hearts on the true reason for the season. This is where memories are made- and it will bond all your hearts together around the heart of Christmas.
Christmas is a time to be with family and friends and celebrate the birth of Christ- the best gift that anyone could ever recieve. The second greatest gift Christ gave the church was the institution of marriage. We need to fight for that gift during this season. By keeping the right priority on relationships, we allow Christ to reign in our lives- and that helps Christmas go beyond the moment and into the eternal.