I’m currently away in the mountains for the weekend with my husband and five of our six children. We’ve had a great day exploring, walking bush tracks, seeing waterfalls and doing some local shopping.

With a large family you quickly learn how to navigate each person’s individual likes and dislikes. Some of our family are naturally inquisitive and love the outdoors and adventuring off the beaten track, even if that has meant needing to call emergency services and police and helicopters on occasion. Others have different fitness levels, demands on their time and interests, and don’t necessarily have an interest in scrambling over the mountainside for the whole day.

I’ve learnt that to keep a group of people, and in particular a family flowing along together in unity its wisdom to allow people to be themselves and to not force your will or desires on other people. You can suggest and communicate your wishes, but real connectedness and unity is created when we choose to take into account differences and be creative and flexible in how best to consider everyone.

An important factor to remember is that a strong personality can push their agenda and perhaps even get what they want, but relating to others in this way will breed resentment rather than connection and unity.

A far better way to create unity, connection and togetherness is to listen and be sensitive to others and allow them to have the freedom to “do them” without pressure to conform. Its essentially being people and love focused, rather than task or me focused.

When we travelled around Canada and the US, all 7 of us chose a place we’d like to specially visit. That list had us driving and flying throughout Canada to destinations such as Nigeria Falls, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Florida, Texas and every place in between. It was a big undertaking to fulfill everyone’s wishes but that trip highlighted how we stay connected as we sought to foster unity and give room to each other so that everyone got to enjoy the trip without judgement or complaints. We chose to honour and respect individuality and as a result gained appreciation for the uniqueness of each other.

Today I encourage you to give the people in your world the space to “do them”. Seek to walk in unity as much as it is up to you, and ask God to help you really see the people in your world, rather than merely the task at hand.

God promises that He commands a blessing when we walk in unity and it makes for much better relationships and weekends away too.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live in unity…. For there the Lord has commanded a blessing, life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1)

Above all else, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. ” (1 Peter 4:8)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the people in my world. Please help me to be people focused so that I can more readily walk and live in unity. Thank you for your blessing on my life today. In Jesus n