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I am a mother of five children ages seven and under.

After a long day, it is a huge temptation for me to rush through bedtime. I look forward to the quietness that fills my home after 8 pm. I look forward to being able to tie up the loose ends of my day without any little people at my feet. I look forward to getting in some sewing time, reading a book, or starting whatever I have planned for that evening. So you can see that it is in my best interest to wrap up bedtime as quickly as possible.

But when I do that, I am losing a sweet opportunity to connect with my kids individually. I would miss my 4-year-old pulling me into his bed and telling me that he’s never letting go. I would miss my 2-year-old reminding me to pray for her boo-boo on her leg. I would miss the opportunity to whisper blessings and God’s promises over each of them. I would miss the chance to encourage them in their obedience or challenge them in their character. 

A distracted home is a home where a mom is more concerned about her to-do list than her children. Where her phone may take precedence over folding laundry. A distracted home is a home where each person is so busy doing what they want to do that they are not in tune with the needs of the other people in the home. A distracted home could be extremely busy (even with good things), going from one activity to the next. A distracted home is not a connected home. The people are each focused on themselves and the family unit suffers because of this. 

On the flip side, a connected home prioritizes people and relationships. In a connected home, a mom is mentally present. She knows her husband and she knows her children. In a connected home, a mom knows how to prioritize her tasks and the people. In a connected home, the family functions as a unit, all working towards the same goal. 

Some families find it helpful to have a family mission statement. It could be something simple like, “The Sell Family Loves God and Loves People.” This can help when making decisions about how we spend our time and money – does this fit in with the vision for our family? Would committing to this honor God?

In a connected home, everyone should function under this same vision. Mom can’t have a different vision for her home than Dad. Everyone is on the same page. A life giving home prioritizes people over self and connectedness over distraction. And we do this out of love for God and for others.