Time – The Key to Strong Relationships

Cindy Gorrell

May 22, 2024

Time is a commodity that we never feel we have enough of no matter what season of parenting we are in. When our kids are little, we covet getting a chance to have peace and quiet and when our kids are older, we start to realize that time with our kids at home is limited. Now, as we embrace friendships with our adult kids, I can think of several ways we utilized time to build deep relationships.   

1.    Time with God

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” Matthew 6:33 (AMP)

There have been so many things that I have sought over the years for myself and my family–a perfect school, a perfect house, a perfect marriage, the perfect post, the perfect family picture…and the list goes on. However, scripture directs us to seek God first and foremost. The things we so often seek aren’t necessarily morally wrong or bad, however, they can take our focus off God. Seeking God first and foremost will equip you emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually to go through your day. God never intended for us to do life without Him, by our own strength or wisdom. He longs to spend time with us, to bring us comfort, to give us insight or to carry us through the things that feel impossible.  

Spending time with Jesus is going to look much different in different seasons of your parenting, but God knows your heart and will bless this time with you. When my kids were young, I quickly learned that uninterrupted time meant getting up before they did. Since I have always required more sleep, that meant planning ahead by going to bed earlier than I may have liked the night before. Starting my day with Jesus gave me strength, peace, and a hope that I needed to sustain me each and every day. As my kids got a little older, I would set aside a time that I called Worship Wednesdays at lunchtime where I would go into my room and pray or read my Bible. They knew I was meeting with God and knew that I would pray for their requests too. I also tried to share what I was learning with my kids and engage them in a moral or spiritual discussion. In hindsight, I wish I would have done less talking and asked more questions to get their perspective. We would pray with or for our kids and have regular times of family devotions. Regardless of what amount of time you feel like you have to spend with God, just set the phone aside and join Him. You can pray while you are driving to work, doing dishes, or in the midst of a challenging conversation. Ask God for his help or insight throughout your day and thank Him for what He is doing! Let your kids see you doing this so they see your need and reliance on a good and faithful God.

2.    One-on-One Time

One-on-One Time was a way that I got to really connect with our sons and get to know them intimately as the unique individuals that God had designed them to be. I would try and spend a half hour several days a week to play with them individually, letting them choose what they wanted to do (within reason) and join in their imaginary world or activity. Obviously, for bigger families, this may be less frequent and will require some creativity to fit it in your busy schedule. For example, when you need to run errands, one of your kids could be your helper and you make a stop for a treat afterwards as a reward and time to talk. Maybe you are trying to get in a few steps and one of your kids could join you on your walk. Perhaps an older child could be allowed to stay up later and you could play a game with them. Whatever the activity, phones (and other screens) need to be set aside and this should be treated like uninterrupted time as much as possible.  

One-on-One Time created an opportunity to learn about my kids interests or concerns and build a point of connection. Sometimes you are the only one who they can share a deep passion with and they need that someone. Ask them questions like, “What do you think about that?” or “Tell me more about this idea of yours”, and then just listen. This will create a safe space and build trust over time. Remember, this is not just for Moms, both parents need to carve out time with their kids.

3.    Time with Friends

When our kids were young, a friend wanted to form a small group of other ladies and go out to dinner once a month. We called it Gals Night Out. Having this once a month date with my girlfriends was so energizing. We often shared common struggles, gained new perspectives, and empathized with each other. On so many occasions, we laughed until our sides hurt. For a couple hours, this took me out of the role as wife and mother and reminded me of who I am when I am not wearing those hats. It truly refreshed me. The husbands, seeing how much fun we were having, decided to start a Guys Night Out with the same results. Twenty plus years later with most of us in the empty nest season, we still meet and are grateful for the gift of friendship.  

We all have exactly the same amount of time each day. What we do with that time is up to us. 

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

James 4:8

Cindy Gorrell and her husband Mike have been married for 28 years. They have two sons and a daughter-in-law. Cindy works at her church as a data administrator. She loves spending time with family and friends, gathered around a table sharing good food, stories and laughter. 


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