Be Available to Your Own Family

A baby wearing many items of winter clothing: ...Image via Wikipedia

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.

What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage.” Isaiah 58:6-7

As I was studying my Bible this morning, I was struck by the highlighted part of the verse above.  Sometimes I think we (I should say “I”) get so busy doing good things that we neglect the one thing that we and only we can do — be available to our families. Be there for them! 

Give a present of your presence.

I feel this so much now that I have teenagers. Often they just want to be alone in their rooms. When they are not in the room, I feel it. I miss them. I want them there with me – it is almost a physical pain because I love them so much.

Do we as parents realize that our kids feel that way about us? When they are playing a game and we’re not in the stands – they FEEL it. It is a longing when they do well to want you there to say “YES!” or when they don’t for you to see it and understand!

This is hard for those of us who have a lot on our list and get focused on other things. Sometimes I find it hard to put down my list and “stop” especially when everyone else in my family has “stopped” a little too early in my opinion.

But this day, as I read this verse, I want to remind myself and whoever comes along this post that being available to my own family is put in the same league of goodness by God as “feeding the hungry, inviting the homeless into your homes and clothing the ill-clad.”  Is it possible that even in those days that parents didn’t spend enough time with their children and each other.

So, as you go into the weekend, let’s challenge each other to “be available to our family.”

Read the whole chapter of Isaiah 58.

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