Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lunch In a Brown Paper Bag

Recently I heard a young man interviewed who had at one time been homeless. A women and her family, however, took him in, loved on him, provided for him and he has become a successful, caring person in his own right.

However, during the interview he mentioned that at one point his new "mom" asked him if he wanted lunch money for the day. But he responded, "No, what I'd really like is to have my lunch in a brown paper bag."  When the woman asked why he said, "Because if you have your lunch in a paper bag people know there's someone at home who cares about you.

What a powerful picture of the longing we all have for someone to be at home who cares about us!

And often it's those little things that go missing even in apparently successful, together and happy families. We can get so busy that we stop doing things that make our family members feel like we really care. Let me suggest a few brown paper bag things we might ask ourselves if we're doing to make home feel like home:

Tuck your kids in at night. Sure kids get older and the "tuck" begins to look different. But a touch, a word, a quick talk, a hug, a prayer . . . can always be fit in somewhere no matter the age of the child. Don't just let your kids head off to bed without some kind of connection with you.

Have meals around a table. Yes, we're busy and can't always eat together but a home where there is rarely a table time for the family will likely become a struggling family at least relationally. And if the TV's always on during meals turn it off and talk to each other. Find at least a few meal times each week where you sit down and interact.

Attend each other's events some of the time. So often kids begin to think that they are the center of the family universe and rarely see what others in the family do. So when you can have the kids support each other's activities and celebrate the uniqueness of each one. And if mom and dad do something special go see that too.

Make some personal time with each person. And no, sitting in the stands watching their game or practice is not personal time. Go on a date, to a concert, fishing, hiking, something that puts you face to face without interruption. Cell phones should be on vibrate and in a pocket. Enjoy each other - period.

I'm sure you can think of many more ideas that will make those in your family feel like someone at home loves them. Think of some more and then start making those sandwiches.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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