Here are four simple, inexpensive things you can do with your family.
A good movie might be hard to find, but its well worth the search. How about popping a big bowl of popcorn and all of the family sitting down to watch a movie together? Many families do this during the holidays, but they’re usually Christmas movies, so why not start your own thing as a family. Choose one night a month for a Family Movie Night. Once a week might be too often, but whatever works best. If you give advance notice, or the family knows exactly when the movie night is, everyone can plan to be there, but it’s at these times where many of life’s most teachable moments come from. Ask questions about what the rest of the family would do under similar circumstances. What consequences were the results of the character’s actions? How is life like that? What is the right thing to do? What does the Bible teach about such circumstances? You cannot buy another minute with your family, and it goes so fast that it makes your head spin. Before you know it, they’re gone, and so is spending a lot of time with them. Now, they have their own families, but perhaps, they too will pick up on the idea of a Family Movie Night. I believe it’s a win-win for the family.
You might not think so, and your children might not think so, at least at first, but helping others is a great thing to do as a family. Yes, your children will probably roll their eyes or SMH (shaking my head) on you, but try to include the whole family in at least one charitable work a year. More would be better, but whatever best fits each family is what is best for them. The strange thing is, when children get a taste of helping others, they can’t get it out of their system, and later, they jump at the chance to help. Most young children are passionate about helping….even if it takes three times as long to do it, so at least once a year, try to get the family involved in some charitable work. It’ll make them appreciate what they have when they see just how much others don’t have. One year I noticed a couple who had brought their children to help them distribute clothing for the church. In the beginning, you could tell they were very shy and even looked afraid, but with dad and mom nearby, along with other church members, in time, they didn’t feel afraid anymore. In fact, they began to take ownership of it. It wasn’t until they were done and on the way home that their dad said they were exuberant. They kept recalling things they’d seen, and even remembered a couple of the men’s names. It wasn’t until they were exposed to serving others that they learned to enjoy it, and now they look forward to it. And, they even acknowledged how much God has blessed their family. That’s a great lesson!
Take a Walk or a Ride
At one time, we had all of our tires pumped up, and no one had any flats, and all at the same time, so when we could ride bikes together, we did, but sadly, it wasn’t enough, and that’s my fault, but I do believe taking a walk or a bicycle ride together is a great thing to do with your family. It’s not just good exercise, it’s good for the family’s relationship. The more they play together, the more they will stay together. It’s the same thing with prayer, so when you take a walk or ride, do it as a family. These too can bring opportunities for teachable moments. Why not even make it better and walk to the park. When my son was young, he loved playing at the park, particularly the swing, as he tried to go all the way around (which he couldn’t, of course), but the time spent outside in the fresh air, running, jumping, climbing, was good for all of us. And yes, dad took the slide down more than once. I have to admit it…it was fun!
Read the Bible Together
I think it’s always a good idea to have a time of Bible reading as a family. In our church, we have the reading of the Word, where everyone stands while a few verses are read, but for the family, I hope dad can find something that will capture their attention and hold their interest, and then follow through on a lesson, because there is a lesson for us in every verse and in every chapter of the Bible. Plus, you are unleashing the very power of God in the hearing of the Word (Rom 1L16; 1st Cor 1:18), and we know that faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17), so if they hear the Word of God, God promises that it will not return void back to Him (Isaiah 55:11). In other words, it will have some effect on the listener, even if they reject it. Perhaps in time, it will sprout into eternal life by faith in Christ. I think it’s up to the reader of the story to make it sound interesting, because it is! Tell the gripping story of David and Goliath, and see how he overcame the giant in his life. Children will have their own giants too and maybe you can explain to them about a few of your “Goliaths.” It’s even worse when their giants are at school and you can’t watch over them, so why not get into the reading of the Word, and by all means, let the children get involved. Let them take turns.
Maybe you can suggest something else you can do as a family. I know there must be dozens of other things a family can do together that would draw them closer to one another. Perhaps it’s camping or hiking, or something else outdoors, but certainly worshiping together. Whatever you do as a family, make sure to spend time with them, because you can’t get back the time that’s lost. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.