As we approach the latter part of summer we begin filling up the family calendar for the fall and winter, which will determine and define our family for the next several months. A well thought out and planned calendar is critical to the healthy growing of a family. Remember, we don't get today ever again.

The age and development stage of our children is also key to a healthy and well-planned family schedule. Benjamin Franklin is credited with two sayings that point us toward the wisdom of planning. He is credited for saying: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." He also said: "He who fails to plan, plans to fail."

One of the patterns of our culture is a family calendar that is filled with "good" activities, but in reality sacrifices the greater good of the proper nurture of a family. The building of healthy relationships within the family, and in the home, among the family members is something we will hand back to ourselves for the rest of our life. The "cultural norm" of passing in the doorway as we each come and go from our individual activities does not make for the building of Christ-honoring relationships that will endure throughout our lifetime. Whereas our children can have some input in the activities they may want to be involved in, we as parents are best equipped by God to make these decisions on their behalf.

The Psalmist in God's Word acknowledges that God is best equipped to plan our lives and the lives of our children. "The LORD will work out His plans for my life — for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me," Psalm 138:8 (NLT).

I encourage you to consider the values and priorities of your family as a whole in planning your calendar. Our culture is marked by the sacrifice of the family as a unit and entity, while chasing after interests and activities of individual family members. You can ask yourself, what will this benefit my family in 10 years? Home should always be the place of fond memories, a refuge and a place we long to be, not just a hotel where we lay our head to sleep.

"Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed," Proverbs 16:3 (NLT).

This is a great promise, but note that it has a condition: We must commit our calendar to the Lord.