The Family that… Deuteronomy “6s” Together
If your schedule is anything like mine, there is little time left over. However, when I am honest with myself and my schedule, there always seems to be time to do what I want.
The Levites in the OT were appointed to be the teachers in Israel. Elders do this in the NT along with those who have the gift of teaching. All three are told specifically to teach adults. The only instructions God gives for teaching the children are given to their parents.
Because of all that invades our lives on a daily basis, we just don’t seem to have the time to set aside for teaching our children. But there may be a way we can do something, at least to start. How about making a family decision to set apart one night a week, preferably the same night each week? This day must become sacred and special to all and only the most critical interruption will be allowed to break this pledge.
On this night, let’s say it is Monday; there are rules which must be followed:
Rule One - we eat at an agreed time. Clean-up can either be done right after dinner if the kids are involved, or it can wait until after the young ones are in bed.
Rule Two - the TV and computer are off limits! This will be hard for some, but all addictions must be conquered.
Rule Three - plan to have fun!
This is a night for the family to spend together, enjoying each other’s company, regardless of the ages of the children. This is not a night for a two-hour Bible study. However, a study or devotional time should be a regular part of the evening, as we always want the children to see Christ as the center of everything we do, be it Bible study or fun. The length of the evening depends on the ages of the children and how engaged they get in the discussion.
Games – this is a wonderful way to spend time together. It can also be used to discuss topics like godly ethics or money management when playing a game such as Monopoly or Careers. Most games are played to be won. But what if the objective of the game were to see who could be the most helpful to someone else or the most philanthropic?
Included in the evening could be Bible and/or catechism memory and explanation. I remember using Susan & Richie Hunt’s Big Truths for Little Kids, and even though our kids were older when they came to live with us, it was an effective teaching tool.
Sue Jakes gave me this idea: If your church is using GCP curriculum in SS there is a family time idea in the toddler, preschool, and early elementary take-home paper every week. If you don’t use the specific idea, it would be a great time to have each child report on the SS lesson. Your church pays for those take-home papers for a reason – so that the Bible truths will find their way into the family’s life and conversation during the next week.
Focus on the Family has a series of books available to help with the teaching and fun times, called the Family Night Tool Chest dealing with holidays, basic Christian beliefs, Ten Commandments, Proverbs, and wisdom life skills.
If your family is doing something you think other families might like to try, email me the details, and I will either list them in the next Equip or post them on our website and let you know in the next issue where you can find these helps. We are a connectional denomination, and this is one way we can help each other stay connected. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is sad to admit this, but the Mormons are far ahead of us on this. Every Monday night, in every Mormon home, they are meeting to have fun and learn the ways of their non-Christian cult. We can do so much better. Will you?