Today, Michael and I talked with Leslie Vernick on our radio program (Your Family Matters) about parenting and the subject of “quality” vs. “quantity” of time spent with kids. For a variety of reasons, society has long comforted itself with the notion that quality was more important than quantity. But did we really believe it? As Leslie pointed out, quality can only come out of time spent together. More time equals more opportunities for quality moments! Duh. You can’t fake quality. Kids see right through it.
Below, I’m sharing a devotional I liked by Dennis Rainey, about making memories. This is a topic near and dear to me. The only way I Michael and I can share Matt and Cathy (our first spouses) with all of our kids, is through the memories we made with them before they died. And the only way we could grow strong as a new blended family was through making our own, new memories.
What are you doing to make and preserve memories with your family?
These days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation. ESTHER 9:28
Memories are what make each family unique. They give your marriage and family a mental imprint of shared laughter and reflections. As someone has said, “God gave us memories so that we could enjoy roses in January.”
But there is an art to memory-making. Here are a few perspectives Barbara and I have gleaned over the years:
Memories are best made with loved ones. Sure, memories can be made with coworkers and church friends, but don’t let others get all your best times. Your marriage and family is a ready-made unit for the rich production and harvest of memories. Plant your fields wide and deep with them.
Memories take time. Our best memories have usually been born out of extended time together. Don’t expect them to be created in three-minute sound bites. Memories are made of varied adventures. Be creative. Do something different. If you can, travel together—especially on short-term mission trips.
Memories are both planned and unplanned. Memories are made through family traditions, such as summer vacations or an annual family Christmas tree cutting. But watch for the serendipitous memory. One special memory for us is the midwinter night when the power went off and we cooked supper in the fireplace. Don’t lose your ability to be spontaneous and impulsive.
Memories should be celebrated. A memory isn’t a memory if you don’t revisit it and talk about it, look at pictures of it, laugh or cry about it. “Do you remember the time . . .” can be a joyful introduction to a family conversation. One of our favorite questions to revisit as a couple or as a family is, “If you could keep only one memory of all our years together, what would it be?”
So go ahead: Get out there and leave the unique imprint of memories in your family’s life.