In the recent series we did on Peace in Our Homes, I mentioned that I kept my day off on Tuesday and Family Night on Friday nights sacred, so that they were hardly ever interfered with. I worked hard the rest of the week. But those times were sacred. It wasn't easy. There were many things we had to say "no" to in order to say "yes" to our time as a family. But isn't that what priorities are all about? With so many options and opportunities facing families today, we must fight for God's best.
Some people have asked me what kind of things we did as a family on those nights? Here are just a few ideas that I hope could be helpful. There is nothing earth shattering or super creative.
1. Movie and pop corn at home in pajamas. Standard activity. But we tried to make it special by it being a movie we all wanted to see or watching an annual favorite (White Christmas; Home Alone; etc)
2. Games. We were big on them. Trivial pursuit; cards; Scrabble. Whatever the kids wanted to play, we did it.
3. We did a four location activity night. This was one of the most memorable for the kids. We did different games or activities in four different locations in the house. They didn't know where we were headed next. But they received clues along the way. They asked for it again and again.
4. Hide and seek outside in the dark. What fun. In a dark shirt and pants you can hide in a shadow and they walk right past you. Learn patience while having fun.
5. Picture night. Sometimes we would pull out old family slides (for you younger ones they are a type of media that showed pictures) or videos and tell stories about them or remember some of the vacations we took. It was good to learn about family history or share fond memories.
While we did the activities we always tried to talk about life, what was happening, what was going on at school or with their friends, what we were doing at church, and other conversations that kept us up to date with each other. Communication was, is and always will be the most important tool between parents and children.
Again, this list is not earth shattering. But I hope it can stir some thoughts for you and your family in making time together a priority. It means time doing things that don't involve a smart phone or tablet or computer but do require conversation, listening and thinking. Families that pray and play together are stronger than those who don't. I encourage you to find your time and make the most of it.