Would you like to have a healthy marriage, financial health and a balanced family-work life? Then family meetings are absolutely necessary to your success. When Corey and I first wed his mother gifted us with a family binder that would set us on a path I will never regret. It was beautifully arranged with sections for budgeting, scheduling, yearly, monthly and long term goal planning. I am naturally administrative; therefore, I used this gift immediately to help with intentional family buidling. We began having both weekly date nights and weekly family meetings. This has now become a Lee Family Tradition. Almost 11 years later we are continuing strong with these meetings, but they work best when both husband and wife are ready to work on their family together.
During family meetings we have chosen to start in prayer, then we begin going through sections of our binder. About once a month we conduct a Marriage Check evaluating various areas of our marriage. I created a detailed list of questions that I believed would help our marriage over time. These questions are important for the growth of any marriage.
For example, we ask how we are doing with our communication and then we provide examples of how each of us communicated well with one another. We take time to encourage one another and find solutions to growth.
When you have consistent meetings as such it provides a safe and healthy time to share heavy feelings, lessening the chances of sporadic arguments due to pent up emotions or frustrations. We have learned that the small foxes destroy the vine. In other words, it’s the small annoyances such as leaving the toilet seat up or not making the bed that cause the greatest build ups of emotion over time.
These meetings are a proactive way to build one another up through discussion rather than tear one another down through argumentation.
How to Conduct a Weekly Family Meeting:
1. Organize your life in a family binder
2. Include the basics in your binder- Budget, Schedule, Short and Long Term Goal Planning, Health Goals and a Family Spiritual Growth Plan.
3. Open in Prayer at every family meeting. Holding hands and listening to soothing worship music does wonders.
4. Create a weekly plan- for example, on week one discuss the budget, week two your marriage, week three your children and week four your scheduling.
5. Discuss a specific day/time/location for your family meetings and make it your first priority. Ask yourself, “What comes first to me? Family or my career? A meeting with a friend or family? Something will always seem to come up but set boundaries, know your priorities and make decisions based on your already chosen priorities.
6. Include your children in an appropriate portion of your meeting. You may have to schedule this separately due to time, but you can discuss family plans and goals during these special family times. This is a great time to give everyone in the household an opportunity to share their voice (even if the parents have the final word).
7. And finally, don’t forget to close in prayer at every meeting, asking GOD to bless your household.
This is how to ensure a strong family meeting culture that you and your children will enjoy for many years. Perhaps it will become a long term family tradition, lasting for many generations!