How important is your family?

Valentines day was 14 February, Mothering Sunday is Sunday 22 March and Father’s day is Sunday 21 June. Will you mark all three of these with a card and a phone call or perhaps with a meal? How much priority do you put on your family?

I would say that, after God, Alison is my top priority and we eat almost every meal together, including two meals a day at the dining table where there is no TV. We also keep in touch with our boys by speaking to them on the phone, at least once a week and making the time to eat together once a month.  And we also make the time to have a meal with both sets of parents each month. 

So what about work? What is the relative importance of work? I love my work and so there is a real danger that it expands to fill the time available. So I have taken a deliberate decision that work is less important than Alison,  our boys and our parents. In practice this means that family meals may well be planned for work days and after they are scheduled then work will be fitted around our meal together.

Today many would call this wellbeing and there is nothing wrong with this label but in the sixth century St Benedict called this balance and designed a fixed time schedule which enabled his monks to have 8 hours sleep, 8 hours in prayer and 8 hours of work each day.

So what about you? Who is the first priority in your life? And how much time will you make for your family? And which is more important for you, your work or your family? This Mothering Sunday, let’s at least send our Mum’s a card and make the time to phone them and may be even plan a meal together.