Enjoying the Journey
The kids are growing up so quickly. At the same time I feel like I am getting old so quickly! Life moves along at a rapid pace and God is teaching me many things. I am not the husband or father that I should be. More and more I thank God for the wife that He has given to me and the mother that she is to our three children.
Our home is not perfect. No home is. Every day the Holy Spirit is showing me areas that we need to work on. I would like to share a few things that God is teaching me. These are not the words of a teacher. They are the words of a student – student that is still learning.
1. Make the most of the evenings.
Genesis tells us that “the evening and the morning were the first day.” The Jewish day started at 6:00 in the evening. Much thought was given to the evening hours. In our world it is easy to waste the evenings with meaningless entertainment and distraction.
Pastor Sexton has a powerful message on “Evenings with God.” (You can find messages on the family at CrownChristianPublications.com.) The truth is that evenings determine how the next morning will begin. Have a family meal. Take your time. Turn the television off and talk. Make preparation for the next day and you will be glad you did in the morning!
2. Develop a regular family altar.
We have done this several ways through the years. It has never been perfect and we have not always been as consistent as we should have. Yet this is one of the most important parts of a truly Christian home.
Read a portion from the Bible each day. Pray together. Let everyone participate. It does not have to be a church service, but a brief few moments will make a difference in the rest of the day. Maybe the rest of life. Families should be able to talk about spiritual things as freely as they would any other subject.
This year we are taking a different Christian character quality and spending a week on each. A journey through the Great Stories of the Bible is wonderful. At faithforthefamily.com you can find devotional guides and other resources to help you get started. The point is: start.
3. Limit the influence of media.
Media stifles imagination and robs families of precious time. We had to learn that the constant drone of the television is the background is not a good thing. Media is not a good babysitter. Guard the internet. Even if you are looking at very good things, you cannot look at your children and the screen at the same time.
4. Do something fun as a family every week and have a little fun every day.
My dad and mom were big on having “family night” on Fridays. We looked forward to it all week. Make time to play and laugh together. Schedule blocks of time for your spouse and children or they will get only the leftovers.
5. Practice showing affection.
I know all families are not equally expressive, but love should be expressed. How would you want to speak or act toward a loved one if you knew it was the last time you would see them? Don’t be ashamed to hug and kiss. Say, “I love you” often.
6. Plan family events together and allow everyone to look forward to them.
Family vacations are important. They do not have to be elaborate or terribly expensive. A few days concentrating on each other will help you all year long. Dad and mom taught us that we could have a good time together anywhere and we are trying to pass that on to our kids.
Pastor Sexton has encouraged all of our people to plan their vacation well in advance and talk about it all year. Give the kids something to look forward to! Anticipation is part of the fun.
7. Get outside.
With all of our technology we have lost the wonder of the miracles that surround us every day. Take a walk. Listen to the birds. Play ball. Get a dog. Enjoy God’s creation and teach your children to enjoy the simple things in life.
There is so much to learn and we will not have our families forever. What is God teaching you about your home life today? Perhaps more important, what will you do about it?