I suspect that for most people, family life is driven by the clock. Our days are quickly full of parent and child commitments, appointments, schedules and activities. These jostle for time with one another. Even as they do new time demands creep in. We are soon frantic in “doing life”, but maybe not quite sure where we are heading or for what purpose.
For a family of faith, the clock is not enough … a compass is also needed. The family compass constitutes its vision, core values and principles, mission and goals. A compass helps set direction, by showing where we are headed in relation to “true north”. “True north” is not something a family of faith decides upon for itself – it is derived from God’s Word, and discerned through worship, prayer and sharing. Once “true north” is established in family, then the family clock is not simply left to tick over from day to day. It is aligned with the family compass, so that our days may be best in service of God and neighbor. Some of the activities that “chewed up the clock” may be left behind or diminished, while other may be given better priority. Whatever the case, we will have a greater sense of peace about the purpose and direction of our family lives.