What is family integrated?
First of all I’ll start off by explaining family integrated families. Did you realize some families are family integrated and some aren’t?
A family integrated family is one who works and plays together as a cohesive unit. A non-integrated family is a family that consists of a multitude of individuals. We homeschool and many would say that if you homeschool than naturally your family is family integrated. But that isn’t so. I have known many public schooling families that are more integrated than some homeschool families.
A family integrated family as a general rule lives life together. Meals are eaten together. When one part of the family has something special, say a music concert or a sports event, then the whole family strives to be there. Even if the actual event isn’t interesting to everyone they attend for the benefit of each other. Family integrated families tend to fellowship together with other families. So a birthday party for one child would include friends and family of all ages. Not a five year old party for five year olds. While there will be some individual activities that only one child participates in as a general rule those are limited. No Johnny going to baseball, Billy at piano and Susie at ballet all while mom and dad struggle to coordinate schedules of who’s picking up whom when.
While homeschooling does make being family integrated much easier that isn’t always the case. Some of the most fractured and segregated families I know are homeschooling. Little ones are left with grandma regularly while others participate in their activities, momma in her Bible studies and crafts while Dad is off hunting or fishing. Rarely does the whole family sit down to a meal together. Johnny, Billy and Susie are here there and yonder with co-ops and activities, often having to ride with others due to conflicting schedules.
Is there any set amount of time that a family must spend together to be family integrated? Must they spend all their time together? No. It isn’t necessarily a matter of time. It is a heart issue. It is the difference between being a grouping of individuals or a family unit.
How do you know which your family is?
Does it seem odd to you when one child is not with you? Like you’ve forgotten something?
Is it rare for the family to be together in the car, at the table or even on trips?
Do your children feel like they need a friend with them in order to have fun?
Do your children have friends whom you really don’t know?
Are you and your spouse tagging off constantly on who’s picking up whom?
Do you find yourself correcting attitudes and beliefs in your children and wondering where they got that?
Do you at times wonder where your child is? Is it Tuesday music or Tuesday Soccer?
Does scheduling issues cause you to allow children to go off with folks you really don’t know rather than have them miss activities?
There are people who would say that we need to develop the individual. Too much family would hinder a child’s ability to be the person they could be. Yet what that does is encourage a selfish self-centeredness. Our focus is to never be on ourselves but on the Lord. So why start out by teaching our children to focus on themselves and their desires?
So what is a family integrated family?
It is a family who strives to live together, learn together, serve the Lord together, minister together, share together, worship together, grow together and in the end spend eternity together.
Are you Family Integrated?
Next we’ll look at a Family Integrated Church.