Almost every Friday morning you will find me in a cafe enjoying a macchiato and the odd bacon and egg Turkish. Yet I’m not alone. I’m with one of my kids. It’s a tradition we have created, where I spend breakfast, alone, with one of my kids, every week. Over the years we have talked about nothing and everything. It gives me time to invest in them, hear what is important to them, and together we create yet another memory together. This simple decision may well be the best fatherhood decision I have ever made.
The reason why I do this is simple. I love my kids. I want to know them. I want to spend time with them. I know life can get busy and so I have intentionally created a rhythm in my week so that I get to invest in these relationships that are so important to me.
Many years ago Jen and I had a dot system on our calendar. Each week we wanted to catch up with people for a meal. We had two colour dots. One for friends from church and one for friends who did not go to church. I know it sounds sort of odd, but we knew we had friends who often lived in very different worlds, and we wanted to make sure that we spent time with people we cared about. We also wanted to make sure that we did not just fill our life with people from church (which is easy for a pastor to do). So each week we made sure we had two dinner dates, one for each dot.
Just like breakfast with my children, Jen and I wanted to spend time with people we cared about, but we also knew that this didn’t just happen. So we brought some intention to catching up with friends.
To share a meal with someone is a simple thing to do, and yet it is critical if you want to see a friendship grow and flourish. If you care about someone you want to talk about everything and nothing with them. You want to build some memories. I suspect we all know this, but we are prone to forget at times that this doesn’t just happen. It takes intentionality. It may be a dot system. It might be a regular breakfast date. It might be that you have someone over for dinner every Friday or Saturday night.
Find a system or rhythm that fits your lifestyle and invest in the lives of others. Let them know you care. Hear their stories and build some memories. To do this, may well be one of the best relational decisions you could make.