Highly Recommended Activities for Young Families
It seems to be a natural thing for opinions and impressions to be exchanged between generations. I thought my parents were mighty "old fashioned" in some of their ways, though I now recognize the value of their way of life. Likewise, my children are often amused by some of my habits. True to this generational exchange, I entertain concerns about the younger generation today. I humbly offer these thoughts as "highly recommended activities" for those who seek Him.
Pray and read the Bible with your children every day. If you are too busy to do this, you are too busy! Family devotional time is necessary, never does harm, will help everyone involved and always pleases God. If you haven't been doing this, give up all your excuses, change your schedule and start tomorrow. Parents and children must be grounded in God's Word. The results of family devotional time will be immediate and future. Would you skip a day feeding your children physical food? "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by ever word that proceeds from the mouth of God!" (Matt. 4:4, Deut. 8:3).
Have a family from the local church into your home. Social hospitality among Christians was common in earlier times, but seems to be rare today. There is great value in forming close friendships with good families. It is not only enjoyable and memorable, it affords a great opportunity to exchange encouragement and good influence. One good result is - when good families become acquainted and form a bond, it always strengthens the local church.
Fix a meal for someone, and involve the kids (Matt. 25:35). There are many opportunities to watch for: someone has a hectic day with a doctor's appointment, home from surgery, just back in town from a funeral, major house repair or construction, birth, family member in the hospital, etc. Call the recipient, ask what time they usually have dinner and what they like to eat, then involve your kids in the project.
Make the Wednesday evening and Sunday evening services a priority. These are opportunities for worship, Bible study, more good influence for your children and a time to encourage others in what is good. Whatever your past habits have been, give up all the excuses - show up and put it in your schedule! You wouldn't let your children skip a class in school! Don't teach them to do this when the local church meets (Prov. 22:6).
Take the whole family and visit a nursing home once a month (Matt. 25:36)! At first, this may not sound like a great family evening. I believe you'll change your mind about that. First, there are many who reside in nursing homes who receive few visitors, even from family members. They will light up with joy when you attend to them and show your love for them. Second, you will find yourself both entertained and edified by the recollections of senior citizens who worked hard and sacrificed in order for us to have the America we enjoy today. These homes are filled with war heroes, people who survived the depression, good people who have raised families and Christians who have fought the good fight. Be sure you take your children! Expose them to the wisdom of age (Job 12:12), and teach them to express their love and gratitude through gifts, time and attention. (In almost every local church, those who keep up with the saints can inform you of Christians now confined. Get the list and go see them.) Young Christian families should assemble with the saints on Sunday morning, give generously of their means and do all the other things not mentioned in this article. I pray you will consider the value of adding these activities to your life.
By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 8.10; October 2001