It is 2021 and modern technology, gadgets, and electronic appliances are things that an average person may never live without. We live in this day and age where going out without your phone may cause panic, stress, and confusion.
This is true of many families in America including The McGuires who live in a home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mike McGuire works as a Manager in a local restaurant, while his wife Kristen is an Architect who works from home at client’s call. They have two teenage kids, Jerry, a 9th Grade student in Booker T. Washington High School, and Jill, a 7th grader on the same campus.
They live in a very spacious 2 story, 2,000 square foot home complete with modern amenities and comforts of high-tech living. Most of their appliances are top of the line and very functional at the push of a button. However, these things together with the busyness of both parents, their time away from each other every day, and the distance they have from each other due to the size of their home have become a setback in their relationship as a family.
They rarely talk anymore, they do not eat together for meals, they don’t go out for family activities like they used to, and do not even spend time with each other even during weekends. This became a major concern for Mike and Kristen.
Because of this, they thought of ways to amend this growing tension in the family. They realize that quality and quantity of time is the best way to start moving forward with a mission to win back the heart of their kids.
As a result, the couple decided to sell their home to a very trustworthy Realtor and get the best price they can get, so they can move to a smaller house where they can stay closer to each other. And then the rest of the budget can be used to purchase a smaller home in Turkey Mountain, Tulsa Hills as a weekend retreat. They envision this home to be their weekend sanctuary away from technology, so they can rebuild a stronger family.
This off-the-grid, tech-free tiny home will have an open floor plan. What will add to the true digital detox experience will be large picture windows that offer a full 360 degrees sweeping view of the forest surrounding the house.
The wrap-around windows and the giant skylight will provide light from every direction and saves on electricity which is key in off-the-grid living. While the little electricity they do use will be provided by a medium-size solar panel on the roof.
And then came 3 master plans that Mike and Kristen thought of. These are steps so they can bring the family back together physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
3 STEPS TO BUILD A STRONGER FAMILY AND RAISE GODLY KIDS.
- DO THINGS TOGETHER
- PRAY TOGETHER
Make no mistake about it, people love to talk. And the older one person gets, the more they like to talk over the people younger than them. And the problem with this attitude, oftentimes, the easiest target is the young ones that are closer to us, our own children.
And there are times that God uses these young ones to humble us, to teach us a lesson, and to help us raise them better. Mike and Kristen waste no further time and begin talking to Jerry and Jill about the things they do, the stuff they like, what makes them happy, and their hopes and dreams as the highlight of every conversation.
And they were surprised at the depth of knowledge they learned about their kids. This has opened doors for both parents to impart wisdom and knowledge to their kids even without talking much. And they achieved it simply by listening more and talking less.
DO THINGS TOGETHER
Sometimes family activities can be very boring, especially when the hearts of their kids are far away from the parents. Since Mike and Kristen started listening to their kids, they have learned that Jerry loves nature and hiking, while Jill loves watching The Master Chef on TV.
Since they will live off the grid, it will come naturally for the parents to inspire Jerry as they trek Turkey Mountain together. And then prepare sumptuous meals with Jill as they reach home.
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added” is what the Bible has said. Our children’s faith can be strengthened if they see the parents are having the same and then living that example. They can start by praying before meals, and going to church together until a strong devotion to God gets deeper while the kids start loving it.
And so as Mike and Kristen start to listen to their kids, do activities they love with them, and include the presence of God in their family activities, not only can they win the hearts of Jerry and Jill, but more importantly they will win the blessings of God.