Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Family on Purpose {finding routine}




As the school year has gotten underway we’ve slowly found ourselves in a pretty predictable pattern. Mondays we find ourselves all home in the evenings. Tuesdays and Thursdays are filled with dance classes. Wednesdays are for youth services at church. Fridays are for fun. And the weekends are fair game for whatever comes our way. 

In the busy structure of our family’s lives we have realized that our time can quickly get sucked up doing lots of important and essential things. But we want our time to also be spent doing the things that matter.

We are learning to work with our family’s own natural rhythms.

In an ideal world we would do devotions more than once a week together. But in the real world we really only fit that in on Mondays. We spend more time and really work to teach our kids some Biblical truth. On the other nights we might read a quick devotional all together before bedtime, but that’s about it.

But we also realize that leading our kids to fall in love with Jesus takes more than a devotional or faith teaching time. Deuteronomy reminds us that we get to teach our kids along the way; as we sit and rise and as we walk and go along the roads. So we have to be connecting with our kids in other ways as well. 

In our house we work it like this: we do all we can to encourage them in the morning. We fill them up with good breakfasts (and by good I mean healthy things they usually fix for themselves). We help them get ready for the day. And we try our best to avoid frustrations and stress. That doesn’t always happen, but it’s our goal.

And when we’re driving we remember that we should work to be friends as well. So we laugh together, we talk about silly things or important things. Or sometimes we listen to them dialogue about what’s going on in their lives.

And at bedtime we cover them with prayer. We try (and not always with success) to connect with them in a more intimate way. We ask them what they might be struggling with and how we can help them. We pray over them, and give them a chance to pray as well. 

It’s not difficult. It just takes time and intentional actions on our part as parents. It’s also not adding in awkward family devotion nights, where we strain to plunk a tune out of the piano and sing Bible songs. That’s just not our style. The other thing it’s not is adding more to the to do list. We’ve got just enough on our plate already. We work with the routine we have, even while we prayerfully evaluate every opportunity that comes our way. Because we know that our time is limited, and we want it to count.

*This idea is not my own original thought, I heard about it from a guest speaker at our church, who had read about it in Parenting Beyond Your Capacity.


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This is part 15 of a 31 day series on how to be intentional as a parent, or more specially-creating the family you were meant to have.

You can catch up on all the posts here.





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