If you could return to your childhood, what would you change about it? What would you keep the same? If “grown-up-you” could travel back in time and give advice to the people who raised you, what would you tell them?
Asking yourself questions like these can help you envision the life you want to make for your family. Here are three things you can start doing today that will help you draw closer to one another, and toward God.
Define your family values together.
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Talk together about which character traits your family wants to be known for. Then, also together, brainstorm practical ways you could make that happen. For example, if you want to be known for “Joy,” you might print several pictures of your family’s happiest moments together and place them in strategic places around your house. Point them out to each other often, constantly reminding one another of pleasant memories. Commit together to regularly add new memories (and pictures!) to your collection.
Make “enjoying each other’s company” a habit.
Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning.
Work, school, chores, activities: sometimes it feels like our schedules are in charge, rather than the other way around. There are certain things we have to do, so be intentional about making the time you have together both fun and meaningful. Taking the littles to school? Turn your drive into kids’ worship sing-along time. Sitting with one kid in the stands while another is at practice? Share a snack and ask about their day. Whatever you’re doing, offer to pray for your kids, then teach them how to ask God to guide your family — by being the example. Don’t over-spiritualize; just enjoy each precious minute you have together…as it’s happening.
Be intentional in how you use technology.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Do you catch yourself checking Instagram and Facebook several times a day? What if instead you showed your kids how to use technology to draw closer to God? Install the Bible App for Kids, then watch the stories together, and talk about them, together… rather than just handing off your phone. Use Bible Lens as your camera app, letting God’s Word constantly speak into whatever you’re doing. Find reading plans and devotionals in the Bible App that your family could do together, then choose “With Friends” and invite your spouse and kids to join.
Kids are a gift from God.
We all want to give our children every opportunity to reach their full potential. Your kids may not always do everything you tell them to. But, they will absolutely learn from the example you set for them in your everyday lives together. Create moments together that they’ll always cherish.
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