"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command to you today shall be on your heart. 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." Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Family Night on 5th Wednesday is not intended to be a "night off," but rather time for you as parents to spend quality yet purposeful time with your kids. In the craziness of life, sometimes we forget the important things – to raise our children to be worshipers of Jesus. We train and equip them to go to school, play ball, and make wise decisions, etc. None of those things are wrong, but they can't be what is most important. God says the most important thing is knowing and loving Him (and then loving others!). Family Night is planned for you, as parents, to create small yet memorable experiences with your children to help them to love Jesus. We know this can look a million different ways, but here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
PRAY AS A FAMILY // Maybe it's been a while since you have prayed together as a family. Gather everybody together. Go around and let everyone share how they can pray for each other as a family. Then just spend some time praying for each other. If you feel comfortable explain how God talks to us and He wants us to talk to Him...prayer!
GO FOR ICE CREAM // Maybe it's been a while since you've really connected with your child. Go get some cookies n' cream, sit outside, and see what's going on in their life. As they share, look for even the smallest ways you can share with them how you see God working in their life.
ASK QUESTIONS // This might seem crazy, but have a time where kids can ask you any kind of spiritual/biblical question. From these questions maybe you can have a "family study" time. This would also be good for us parents to understand more some difficult things of the bible. Feel free to email me your questions (I'll probably just ask Pastor James) or do some study on your own and set up a time to discuss.
FAMILY WORSHIP TIME // Read some passages of the Bible together (one option is our S.O.A.P. Devotionals), pray, and possibly sing together (I know this might be pushing it, but it might work or help you to have a good laugh together).
DATE NIGHT // Plan a "parent date night." Dads take your daughters out and moms take your sons out. Make it a place where the both of you can talk/have fun together. Share with your kids how you met your spouse, explain to them the ups and downs of marriage, and tell them how you're working to stay together. This would be a great time to work in how marriage is a reflection of God's love to the world. If you are a single parent, share with them your experiences with marriage or relationships. Teach them from your experiences to value marriage and explain how marriage teaches us of God's love.
GUYS NIGHT/GIRLS NIGHT // Plan a night to go see a ball game, movie, etc. Take some time to explain how God designed men and women to complement each other and the roles each play.
JUST DO SOMETHING // Go fishing, bake a cake, go eat some wings, or go for a walk. There is no secret formula. It's more about building healthy relationships so you can continue to share with your children how Jesus has changed your life and how He can change theirs. Share with them why you love Jesus. Share with them your struggles/doubts. Share with them how much God loves them. Share with them how God desires for us to love others. The point is to consistently do this over the next 7-10 years, not to plan the "perfect" outing. Just make sure they are purposeful in helping your kids love God more.