What if You Just Don’t Like Rhythms?

So in our Facebook group, the Five Minute Father Facebook group, we had a conversation, Joshua posted a very important question that I get a lot. So we talk a lot about the importance of living rhythmically, but what if you’re that kind of person who just doesn’t like rhythms? You know, what, if you kind of person that finds that boring or likes it when things are really different and constantly changing? What if you’re one of those kinds of personalities, should you be living rhythmically? I find this question… I hear this a lot and he phrased this question really great.

Joshua wrote, “Hey dads, the biggest pushback that I get from crafting weekly rhythm is that I am being super rigid and scheduling and no fun. I think this stems from a different perspective on what fun is though, I enjoy routine and rhythm. It creates anticipation and excitement for me, intentionality and purpose into what we do throughout the week. But on the other hand, this can really feel like a structured and rigidness to the rest of the people in the family. It’s a really tricky walking this narrow balance. And if you dads run into trying to create this dynamic in your family rhythms, how does that work?”

Yes, this can really happen. And it’s important to know there’s a spectrum of people. Some people really enjoy routine. Some people find routine extremely frustrating and oftentimes boring and not energizing. They like the drama of life. So let me say a few things. You guys, it is really important to live rhythmically. If you’re trying to raise a family, there’s a lot of people’s schedules that you’re trying to coordinate. Children need a certain amount of structure in their life, and so you do have to give a little in this area.

Oftentimes when you’re single and you’re just sort of like able to go like the wind everywhere and wherever, you’re living in a very simple season of your life rhythms, aren’t that important, but you could be that kind of person from a personality perspective in raising a family. And you’re like, “Ah, like what can I do to make life more interesting?” One thing that… There’s three quick tips and I’m curious what you think Jeff. Schedule fun blocks into your week. And those can be very different. So you can have a night of the week where you just like, “Let’s go do something fun and we can do something different.” That could be your date night. That could be a whole family fun outing. That could be something you do on your Shabbat. There could be a media night, like mixing things up, things like that.

A lot of our rhythm are just things we all find really fun. And you can insert a lot of variation into those blocks. Another thing is that rhythms are sometimes meant to be broken. One of the things that is great about living rhythmically is, you know, what, a normal week, a very productive week, a very life giving week looks like. And if, once you get to that point, it’s okay to flex, right? My friend Blake, one time found his whole family starting to burn out and they were living into a rhythm of Sabbath and he just declared to his family, “This weekend is double Sabbath.” So they decided to take 48 hours of Sabbath. I thought, “Oh my gosh, I love that.” Like, yeah, that’s fun, right? That’s dramatic. So you could do that. The third thing is that annual rhythms are meant to break up weekly rhythms and make life a lot more interesting.

I don’t remember the last time I heard somebody say to me, “Christmas is so boring. It happens every single year. Let’s not do Christmas this year.” Like nobody says that nobody who likes fun. Why, it’s rhythmic? It’s repeated. Why do we all like to do the same thing every single year? Well, because annual rhythms are just enough time that you start to sort of forget, right? The excitement of what Christmas… So then the anticipation builds. And so some people, almost everyone can relate to the excitement of an annual rhythm. And so that’s why if you find yourself getting bogged down with too much rigidity in your weekly rhythm, then embrace a more annual rhythms. Call more holidays. Do something cool. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about some of the other holidays maybe you haven’t explored, but Jeff, have you guys run into this sort of tension of-

Yeah, totally [crosstalk 00:03:43] and totally. And I think, I think amen to everything you said. Two more I would add as a caution or an encouragement to both sides, someone who’s more of the rigid or someone who is more like wants to be spontaneous. I would say to the spontaneous person in general, ask yourself if that’s actually putting your life on a trajectory and a direction of what you actually want to do. Most people that I know that are spontaneous, or like a seven on the Enneagram or whatever it might be tend to actually go in a better direction with their life and accomplish more and be more flourish and find more flourishing when they live into a little bit more discipline. So they might not like it. But I think you realize like, “Oh, but this is for my good, this is for my good.” A lot of times we look at the spontaneity and that’s actually our, sometimes that’s someone’s gifting and they need to bring that into the family and they need to make it spark those joy, spark those moments. I think one thing I would say is a lot of times, when you, when people do look at their own life of that, it’s not always pointing them on the direction of the mission for their family.

And so then that is actually a little bit more of a thing you have to wrestle with if that’s not happening. And then two, to the more rigid person I would say, remember too, that rhythms are kind of like those bumpers, they put up when you are really terrible at bowling, right? You don’t aim for the bumpers. The bumpers are not in and of itself the game, right? You’re not just completely aiming for the rhythms of like, this is exactly why we’re living. They’re meant to actually hold you down the line of why you are living, which is life and the mission you have and what God’s called you to and your family.

And so that one, I would also say that is like, remember that they’re meant to just kind of guard you and protect you down the lane of life. And that’s a really helpful reminder too, because then sometimes we focus so much on them and so much on the rigidity, like you said that then it becomes legalistic. I was thinking about this the other day, I just find it fascinating that we haven’t actually outgrown the problem Jesus addressed when he said like, man has made, I mean, “Sabbath is made for man. Man is not made for Sabbath.” We haven’t outgrown that problem. Everyone in their hearts still can go a little too far. And so remember we’re going down towards intimacy with Jesus and these rhythms can help us shape us there. But once we start actually throwing the bowling ball purposely at the bumpers, then it doesn’t do anyone any help. And so those are the two kind of cautions I would give to both sides. And then when you start coming into the middle with both of those encouragements, it tends to go really, really well.

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