One of my favorite cartoons is the perfect example of perspective. The guy stranded on the island is thrilled to see an approaching boat. The guy in the boat is thrilled to finally reach land. Everything depends on our perspective.

How we view family, it’s function, purpose and how we interact makes a vital difference not only to your own family but to the next generation.

Is your perspective a healthy one?

Our perspective is influenced by what we value. We can determine what we value by looking at how we spend time with our families. Is togetherness a goal? Are we swamped with activities that leave no time for training, love and fellowship?

It’s always a good idea from time to time to step back and analyze the activities of our families. Our perspective of what is important can get skewed in the middle of a whirling lifestyle. Step back and gain a different perspective and decide if how you’re living supports what you value.

 No two families are the same. Some families value what sports and extra-curricular activities have to offer and choose to put their focus there. Other families fill their week with church activities while some lack any particular plan and get sucked into a constant diet of technology interaction.

It’s important that you know what you value and what your desires are for your family. Be sure that your time and attention line up with what you truly value. No matter what your family goals are it is important that you are present, mindful and attentive.

Be Present

It is so easy to be distracted and unengaged with those we love. Social media and constant phone use are the enemies of our goals to be present. Being fully present means having your focus, attention, thoughts and feelings fixed on the person you are with.

Be Mindful

Mindfulness means that you are aware of those around you. If you are mindful, you purposefully choose to do things and say things. You make an effort to remember what is important to others and don’t just let life happen but you put thought into your choices.

Be Attentive

Being attentive is being aware and showing care for the need, desires and emotions of others. I believe that one of the greatest yearnings of the human heart is to be noticed and to be paid attention to. We long to matter. Our spouses and children long to matter to us. One of my great sorrows when I look at families today is that we lack connection. We’ve been swept along in a rush of busyness; our days are full but our hearts and relationships feel empty.

Give yourself the gift of a time-out. Step back and get a fresh perspective. Do the activities, attitudes and actions rightly reflect what you value? Do they line up with where you want your family to end up? Are you having time to be present, mindful and attentive?

If not, you have the power to make change. You control the calendar. It does not control you. You are allowed to say, “NO!”

Be present. Be mindful and be attentive. �B

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