This weekend Jason Anderson from Eagle Brook Church provided a very practical message on parenting based on the words of Moses in the Bible. Even if you’re not a believer in the Bible or a follower of Jesus, anyone can learn from the wisdom presented in this book. Jason also shared ideas from the excellent book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof.
The basic premise presented was that people are creatures of habit with regular routines in our lives. We should leverage these routines by being intentional and consistent in building them to be positive times. We need to make sure the routines we establish are moving us in a good direction and communicate what we value and believe.
Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.”
This suggests four routines we can take advantage of as parents with our families to help us reach our goals of a healthy family:
1. Eat meals together. (“When you sit at home.”)
Meal time is a great opportunity to talk and learn. The key is you need to be together and free from distractions. Turn off the TV and computer. Do not answer the phone. Concentrate on the moment. During this time parents can act as a FACILITATOR and move the conversation forward by asking questions that get at critical issues like “Any new friends? What are they like? What do you appreciate about our family? What can we do better? Where would you like to go on our next vacation?”
2. Travel together. (“When you walk along the road.”)
Often parents are the drivers carting their kids from one activity to the next. The time together in the car is valuable and should be used wisely. During this time parents can act as a COMPANION and friend. Take the opportunity to be one-on-one with your kids. In addition, taking an actual vacation together can be a very valuable bonding time for families.
3. Put them to bed. (“When you lie down.”)
Just before bed your kids are in a place of comfort and security. Take a moment to ask them how things are. During this time parents can act as a COUNSELOR. Talk through the feats. Then tuck them in, tell them that you love them, pray for them, and say good night with your blessing. It can be a very powerful time 365 days a year.
4. Get up in the morning.
Every day is a new day, a clean slate, and a chance to reset. Do your best to provide positive encouragment and inspiration to start each day off right. During this time parents can act as a COACH. You can do it!
Here are some products I’ve found to assist you with valuable conversations. They provide a little guidance to help make it fun and interesting to spend time together as a family.
TravelTalk Conversation Cards
TableTalk Conversation Cards
Kid Talk: Conversation Cards for the Entire Family
During these times with your kids be sure to listen and be open to hearing what they say. You can learn from them…even in their lack of wisdom and experience in comparison to you. It can give you a new perspective on things. Overall, if you increase the quantity of your quality time together as a family you can have a better life.