Earlier I wrote a post called “Be Nicer” and I spent some time making observations on how we should be nicer to those around us and I particularly chose people not so near and dear to my heart to be nicer to. Well, I want to take a little time and redirect “Be Nicer” to focus more on our family and loved ones.
I for one, and I am finding that I am not alone in this feeling, give total strangers the best of what I have to offer everyday and bring home the gristly remains to nurture our families with. I have wondered why do we do this, why don’t I direct my feelings appropriately to those who are, oh so deserving of them, instead of my kind and loving family. I was brought up just like many of you to “always be friendly and kind to strangers”, to “be a good neighbor”, “never speak unkind words to anyone”, to “treat others the way I want them to treat me”. So it seems I have mastered that, now I need to add into the mix, “always be friendly and kind to my wife and family”, “be a good husband and father”, “never speak unkind words to my family”, and treat my loved ones the way I want them to treat me”.
Who means more to us, who is going to be there when we need them, who is going to comfort us when we are hurting? I would not place my bets on the strangers that we have so graciously been nice to, I would bet it all on our families, who we have not been so wonderful to all these years. We need to come around to a better way of thinking. We don’t have to stop being friendly to strangers we just need to be a lot more friendly and loving to our spouses and families, give them the same courtesies.
How do we do that? Well, I have heard that it take 21 days to learn a new habit, and if my calendar reading ability is right we have about 21 days until Thanksgiving. Maybe we can make a difference and truly give our families something to be thankful for, and definitely we will be more thankful also.
Here is my challenge. Most of us spend time on social media, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc. how about each day from now on we post something that we are thankful for about our spouses and family. Or if you would rather, here are some other options we could try. Each day, before you leave for work, leave a love note in a surprising place. During lunch, send a text saying we love them and are grateful for them in our lives. Each day before we walk in the front door, we say a prayer and thank God for the family we have and for him to give us the patience and guidance to be our best for them. Share some quiet and reflective time with them. Treat them the same way or better than we treat strangers. What have got to loose?
Now, we won’t stop once Thanksgiving has come and gone, why would we? After 21 days of having a better attitude at home and enjoying our family the way God intended us to enjoy them, why would we go back. Let it be known that we want to make a positive, lasting change in our lives and theirs.
I will be looking for the noticeable warmth that will undoubtedly come from this exercise and look forward to hearing how it affected your home and family. Keep me posted!