Family Time…Make it Happen
Before the craziness of schedules begin to overtake our fall let’s calendar in some quality family time…yes, even with our teenagers! Mark shows us why and how we can have great family time together.
“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8
I love how the gospels are packed full of stories recounting Jesus personally doing day to day life with the people around Him. If Jesus were to show up in the flesh today, He would be such a radical breath of fresh air in our culture where we are so segmented, busy and distracted by various objects, activities and information. As well, the apostle Paul speaks of going past limited interactions and points to the value of sharing life together.
When we asked our college staff, “What are some of the things you wish were different growing up in your family?” one theme of response was, “I wish we had more family time.” This is likely a shocking revelation for some of you in the midst of raising teenagers. But for those who don’t want to let life continue to swallow you up, let’s look at some ways to improve and increase family time.
- Start having more family time NOW. Regardless of your kid’s ages or how busy things are in this season. Otherwise the urgency of the immediate might trump the priority of the important (FAMILY). Grade school children will have immediate buy in! For those with teens, call a “Family/Team meeting” to communicate the expectation and commitment towards increased, intentional time together.
- Create and commit to consistent family time… daily, weekly and monthly. “Break bread” together, watch a sporting event or other extracurricular activity, attend church and discuss what each heard/learned, game night at home or out for bowling or miniature golf, family project around the house or serving someone in need. For example, as our kids started to become busier and mobile teens, we designated Saturday night as family night. Depending on our mood (and entertainment budgetJ), we would sometimes go out to play but our fall back was a card or board game and watching one or two episodes from an old classic TV show on DVD or Netflix.
- Invite and include others sometimes. Occasionally have a family friend or two join in which will likely be a blessing to all. It will give an opportunity to learn and practice social skills, add some fresh relational dynamics and a chance to love others and provide a safe, encouraging and Christ honoring home for your friend to enjoy.
Though all of us as parents need nothing other than the love of our children as motivation for spending time together, our ultimate goal and purpose should be to point them to God so they may walk in His ways. So as you increase your family time, let’s be purposeful not only to ensure they know Jesus as Savior but also how to walk daily with Him.
Suggest to your parents everyone taking turns each week deciding what your family time is going to consist of. Help your family stay committed to it by hanging a reminder on the refrigerator or sending a text. Lastly, make your time worthwhile and Christ-centered by asking a “Think Twice” question… “What is a spiritual analogy to what we just did or watched?”