Every year I log hundreds of thousands of miles as I travel the globe, but there is one trip I always look forward to with great anticipation. Although the destination, Kauai, is gorgeous, what makes this trip so special are my priceless traveling companions, my family. You see, every year my entire family travels with me to Kauai for our family vacation..

As I sit here on the balcony of our timeshare, gazing at the pristine beach and crystal-blue surf, I feel the warm air with a slight breeze. My mind travels back years ago before Sue and I were married. We made the decision to order our life priorities under God’s direction: the Lord first, then our marriage, then our children and family, and last our ministry and careers.

We haven’t always done it perfectly, but we stuck to that commitment because we know that family matters. Long before we were taking family vacations to Hawaii, we started the habit of spending time together as a family. We established routines such as a family devotional time, family meals and a family council where we discussed important decisions we needed to make as a family.

We created a tradition of family rituals around holidays, birthdays and special events like graduations. We made small happenings special, like celebrating a winning soccer game by going out for ice cream. We realized that our relationships would not survive and thrive just on quality time; they needed quantity time as well. We found ways to make time with each of our children through one-on-one “date times,” selecting different children to accompany us on errands and making use of car time for special conversations.

You can tell what people value by what they make time for. Today our four children are grown, three are married and two are parents, making us proud grandparents of our grandson, Justice, and our granddaughter, Annabelle. We still make time together a priority, gathering one night a week for a family meal, sharing pictures and catching each other up on the latest news. We continue our family traditions on holidays and celebrations, and we rally around and mutually support each other in challenging times.

Today I am so blessed as I watch our children choose priorities that make their families matter. I am reminded that family was originally God’s idea. He created us to live, grow and find our identity and purpose in the context of family. He reminds us that He is always thinking of us. In fact, He tells us that His thoughts of us are as numerous as the sands of the sea (Psalm 139:17-18). How’s that for establishing a priority?

Abba God’s family matters to Him, and He has invited all of us to become members.  “See what a great love the Father has towards us, that we should be called the children of God. And that is what we are! We have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (1 John 3:1; Romans 8:15b–16). So never forget that God has a family where you matter!

Please join us this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. We will have special guest speakers at each service.