We were the featured speakers at a Family Camp last summer. The Christian Reformed Conference Grounds in Grand Haven Michigan are situated right on Lake Michigan, the campsites are nestled in a grove of maple and oak trees and the grounds are a buzz with children and parents alike. Mike and Brenda Perton are the consummate hosts and put us up in “The Pastor’s Cabin” which is by no means a “cabin”.

Sitting on the front porch one afternoon, sipping iced tea and observing the activity of the conference grounds, we noticed moms hurriedly running to the bath house with child in arms begging them to “hold it”. Families pulling red wagons full of beach toys toward the shores of Lake Michigan. Bikes and skateboards racing toward the snack shack, basically a typical beautiful summers day at the Conference Grounds.

Then one mother and daughter caught our attention. Mom appeared to be around 30 years old and the daughter maybe 3 or 4. They were both strolling slowly and eating ice cream from a cup. The young girl was old enough to feed herself, but not without making a mess of her face and clothing. Mom was working hard to walk at the child’s pace and keep a nice conversation going at the same time. For us it was a profound lesson on the importance of making time for the important relationships in your life and to let them know they “matter”.

As we enter this Christmas season remember…

  • Little feet don’t move fast so take some time to play at your child’s pace to show them they matter.
  • Tweens and teens roll their eyes and grunt and grown to see if you are paying attention to what really matters to them.
  • In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Christmas, take your wife out for a date, even if it’s just for coffee. Sit and listen as she talks, it’s how she processes life and when you genuinely listen you show her she matters.
  • In the midst of all the Christmas activity be sensitive when your husband initiates intimacy. Sure he’s just being a “man” but on a deeper level he’s asking you “do I matter”?

One of the greatest gifts you can give to your spouse and your children this Christmas is to show them how much they matter to you. Our good friend and comedian Ken Davis says love is spelled “T.I.M.E.”. Especially at this time of year nothing could hold more truth. Yes presents are important and holiday traditions are a delight but your “presence” in the lives of those you love is much more valuable than any gif you can give.

Remember, little feet don’t move fast but they do ask…do I matter?