Every year about this time most of us reflect over the past year and think about things that we’d like to do differently for our families.
Resolutions were always difficult for me since it was more than likely they would be broken within a month. But when I focused on goals like weight loss, getting fit, being on-time, etc., and began to think about helping my family improve, the desire to keep my goals grew stronger.
Here are four goals that you might consider:
1. Make room in your life to spend time with your spouse
While raising four children life often became hectic trying to balance everyone’s schedule, and it seemed that I spent more time in the car than at home.
My husband and I came to realize that we needed a regular date night. When the children were in our church’s Awana program, we would take advantage of the 90-minute free time and head to the local mall food court for cheap food and great conversation. There were so many other things we could have been doing, but time together became a high priority for us.
When our youngest child decided that Awana was just not for her, we had to get a little more creative to find those spare minutes for us, but those are the times that helped us talk about our family, our hopes and our lives together.
A regular date night is one of the most important things for creating a deep connection between you and your spouse.
2. Make time for family dinners
Family dinners are a time to relax, laugh, and catch up with each other’s lives while connecting as a family. We have a tendency when things are so hectic that we eat on the run and at different times and miss out on this special time as a family.
If you think that dinner conversation is not that important, then you might want to that statistics indicate that the average American family engages in less than 15 minutes of direct parent-child conversation each day.
Recent studies link regular family dinners with lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem.
These are the moments when you can have casual conversations about their day with your children and even apply biblical principles to life’s daily problems and challenges.
Some good rules for family dinners could include no video games, Facebook, texting or TV — just put it all away and be a family.
3. Take advantage of teachable moments
Sometimes the most ordinary things can lead to great opportunities to teach life principles. A teachable moment can occur while you are eating ice cream together, playing a video game or building a castle with Legos.
Use ordinary moments to explain a biblical truth about living a life of faith. Perhaps the best place to learn about theology is right in the midst of our daily lives where we can a watch a butterfly and teach about the character of God.
Mundane conversations with our children can become the best moments of influence in their lives.
4. Take care to deepen your faith.
With the secular influences kids face today, it is crucial for parents to be solid in their faith and know about the challenges your children will face.
Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas often says that the first thing he does each morning is read the Bible and then the newspaper to see what each side is doing. Those are great words of wisdom for parents today.
Take time to know what the secular influences are around your children. We need to be able to help our children to understand life from a biblical perspective so that they can live in the world and know the Truth that will set them free.
— by Theresa Keener
Theresa is the co-owner of Selah Media Group which publishes Refreshed magazine, the Christian News Journal and several regional directories. She has also served as president of the Evangelical Press Association, the founder and former chairman of the board of a Pregnancy Care Center.