There’s an old saying that you don’t get to choose your family members. At times, maybe you wish you would have been able to have that luxury. But how we talk about those closest to us says more about ourselves than it does them. Are you willing to overlook the flaws of your family and begin seeing the best in them?
This is a picture of my family while eating out on Mother’s Day weekend. Social media allows us to pick the best pictures of our day and share them with the world. This one was pretty good (5 out of 6 looking at the camera). Everyone was smiling and genuinely having a good time.
But honestly, there have been plenty of times that each person in this picture has driven the others crazy. Each person has done things to make the others mad. Each has weaknesses that the others have had to learn to live with and work around.
If all we focused on were each other’s weaknesses, how would that change our environment at home? Would it pull us closer together? Would it make the others respect us more? Probably not. With that being said, Let’s try something fun…
Let’s play a game. Starting with your immediate family, what is one word you would use for each person that describes their ultimate strength in your eyes? It could look something like this for me:
Marilyn – Giver
Josiah – Thinker
Myah – Spunky
Micah – Passionate
Titus – Strong
Now the next step is to write one sentence explaining what that adjective means to you. Here is my example continued:
Marilyn – Giver: She’s always looking for opportunities to bless people around her through her time, resources, and attention.
Josiah – Thinker: He always tries to see the long term impact of things before making a decision.
Myah – Spunky: Her fun personality is balanced with self-confidence and a genuine desire to be helpful to others.
Micah – Passionate: Whatever he decides to do, he does it with all of his heart.
Titus – Strong: So far, he seems pretty strong-willed when it comes to getting what he wants, but the jury is still out (3mths old).
When you start focusing on the strengths each family member brings to the table, you quit focusing on their weaknesses. Maybe you have a sibling, a grandparent, a step-parent, etc. that you always seem to have something negative to say or think about them. True love isn’t ignoring their weakness, but choosing to focus on their strengths instead.
What words would you use today to describe the strengths of those in your own family? Give it a shot! It might be difficult to come up with one word, but it’s fun to try and requires you to dig down to the essence of that person.
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