What does a typical evening look like at your house? Is it cohesive, or are you always in survival mode as you navigate a scene of controlled chaos? Perhaps as you put the groceries away, your daughter shouts that volleyball practice starts in five minutes, and your son blows up your phone to ask if a friend can come over. On top of it, the dog regurgitates an insect he recently ate and the cat is walking on three legs instead of four—never a good sign.
Does this sound familiar? It is easy to fall into controlled chaos. In fact, it’s what happens unless we take steps to avoid it. And I cannot offer an all-encompassing solution. After all, my family is certainly not modeled after Leave it to Beaver. But I do have one important suggestion to offer that will improve your family time.
A Family Devotional Time
This is a time set aside each night when all members of the family are required to be there. Of course, this isn’t ironclad, but a general guideline. Then you as a father take the lead in sharing important things with your family. Because my family and I are people of faith, we usually read passages of scripture and pray together. Sometimes I share my thoughts on certain historical events and what they should mean to us. The conversation surrounding Memorial Day one year was incredible. We may also talk about current events, peer pressure the kids are facing, or how to look forward to an uncertain future with confidence.
I cannot emphasize enough how important this time is for my family. We’ve grown so much, had so many great conversations, and learned from each other. Kids learn their value when you volunteer to spend time with them and instill values in them that will pay dividends forever. I’ve also had to grow as a man since I now have to “practice what I preach.” If I’m going to emphasize the gravity of being loving and gracious, I’m going to have to walk the talk.
The sands of time in parenting disappear so quickly. One day, we turn around and our kids are now parents themselves. And while we cannot stop the sands from flowing, we can direct them in a worthwhile direction. I beg you to seriously consider a family devotional time if you do not already have one. It will be the most important time you ever spend in your life.
Sound off: What are your thoughts about a family devotional time?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one subject you would like to talk about as a family?”