Some might say the influences outside the home that are bombarding our kids are growing exponentially every year. In the face of all this the burden to protect and impress the right things on our children can sometimes feel overwhelming. Speaking from experience, the worries of life, the stresses of work, and the grind of simply raising 3 kids tempts Julie and I to just let things slide. But several years ago we were encouraged by our then church to create teachable moments rather than just wait for them to happen. By setting up routine family nights we have seen our kids lives truly impacted by the truth of the Gospel and the love of their Heavenly Father. For us, letting things slide is not an option:
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 – 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Family Nights have given us amazing opportunities to impress our beliefs and values in the lives of our children. Not only that, but on those occasions where extracrurricular activities, illnesses, or just plain life prevent us from keeping up our routine, Rilyn is always sure to remind us over and over again, “Don’t forget we still have to have Family night!”
What is a Family Night? For us, it starts with a song. We use the same worship song (currently, Here is our King by David Crowder Band) to start our time togther. That way wherever the kids are, when they here that song blasting in the room, they drop whatever they’re doing and come running into the living room, dancing, being silly, and ready to have fun learning about God, His truth, and His desires for our life. We start with a short prayer, talk about what we learned last Family night, and then get into the lesson. Now for those of you who are used to little kids, you know they don’t like to sit still for long. That is where the challenge comes in for Julie and I. We have several resources that help us with ideas and sometimes we are able to think of creative ways to teach the lessons. But the key for our girls, and someday Asher, is to keep the lesson creative and active providing hands-on learning activities that make it fun and memorable. Several of our ideas come from the book An Introduction to Family Nights Tool Chest by Jim Weidmann and Kurt Bruner.