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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Nurturing families

Relationships take time, effort, encouragement

The daily life of families can seem all-consuming, including complex daily schedules, high expectations for children’s activities, and the pressure to balance budgets, time and energy.

My wife, Ione, and I now are “empty nesters.” That does not make us experts, just seasoned veterans in God’s lifelong baptismal calling to live out our faith in family life, in communities, the workplace and the world. Without diminishing the significance of the tasks of family life, how might we give greater attention to relationships?

The factors that worked for us might not work for others, but I share the most important, believing we gain insights from one another:

• We shared a family meal. Whether all eight of us gathered or only three, there were few days we did not gather for a meal. It is hard to tend to relationships without the opportunity to see each other, pray, laugh and argue. Sometimes the conversation was so lively that hands were raised to indicate a desire to talk. Other times we were in silence. Often we were rushing to church, practice or friends, but we had tended to our relationship with each other.


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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