Many novels have been written about the mysteries and treasures surrounding Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Whether it is in the attic or a long dark hallway with beckoning rooms, there is something special about the visits to the grandparents. The food tastes better, the smells are sweeter, and the conversations more endearing. On one visit to my grandparents, my sister and I found a closet at the end of the hall which aroused our curiosity. The musty smell, the delicately stitched doilies, and the old treasures were a delight to explore. In one box, I found a little green Bible with gold engraved letters. It was just my size and it was my favorite color. Grandmother gave it to me and I carried it with me everywhere I went. God’s seed was sown.
#1. Find Mom. (click here for part 1.)
#2. Sit (click here for part 2.)
#3. LEAD. (Time: 15+)
Not like a drill sergeant. Your family needs you to lead them to the heart of God; to be a family that faithfully follows Christ.
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24.15
As the father goes, so goes the family. Our influence as dads is a mysterious wonder. We (maybe I’m speaking for myself here) need reminding how our leadership (or lack of) impacts our family. (Read this article I wrote of a compilation of dad stats.)
It is so easy to rely on vacations, cheering at sporting events and dropping them off church, for checking the box of being a good Christian dad. There is so much more.
You have your to-do list. Things that just have to get done: pay bills, yard work, fix the leak under the sink. You go from your job-do-list TO your honey-do-list. But, the first 10 minutes after you arrive home might just be the most important.
I have seen so many wonderful, loving parents love their children the wrong way and then wonder why they have lost their children’s hearts as they became teens.
Last night, I went on a date with our 13 year old, Sophia. I asked her what her love language was. After a few seconds of observing her baffled expression, I said, “We all have ways we best feel loved.” I described each of the ways, then named everyone in our family and asked her which love language she though each of them had.
1. Words of Affirmation. 2. Physical Touch. 3. Acts of Service. 4. Receiving Gifts. 5. Quality Time (Here is description of the love languages.)
I then asked her which love language best described her. She replied, “Quality Time and Words of Affirmation.” I was given great insight and a reminder to make sure I encourage her and spend time with my princess.
We all tend to love others the way we want to be loved. What happens if my other daughter’s love language is Physical Touch, but I bring her gifts, paint her room, fix her toys, or remind her of how proud I am of her? After all this, she still may not feel loved by her daddy. (The same goes for your spouse, too). Rather, she would feel loved with a hug or time snuggling together on the couch while reading a good book. [As a side note, dads, if she best receives love best through physical touch and I’m not loving her that way, as she gets older, she might look for it in the arms of some other man.]
Talk with your spouse about the ways everyone in the family receives love best. Moms have wonderful insight, esp. if your children are younger. This would make for a good family discussion. Discuss each other’s love languages and brainstorm ways you can love each other better. Don’t know your Children’s Love Language? Connect with them and let them know how important they are to you by taking this on-line quiz together.
1. Do a 5 Minute Family Devotion.
Here is a link to our FREE Thanksgiving devotion. Challenge yourself to find the time to gather the family this weekend to discuss God’s Word on being thankful.
2. Video chat with those who can’t be there. Grandparents will love to connect even though they may not be with you. (This is the only use of “screens” allowed!)
If you want to get out of the house, go bowling or rock climbing, take a walk, go ice skating, play touch football. Inside ideas: Pull out those board games you used to play…Play cards. Play team charades!
At thanksgiving dinner this year, instead of one person praying and saying “grace”, ask everyone to simply pray a one word thank you to God: “God, thank you for _________.” If it is a huge crowd, have everyone shout out their thanks at the same time! That will leave a lasting impression on the young ones.
5. Look at photos.
Remember those photos somewhere in the digital realm that you never look at? This is probably one of the most fun things you can do as a family as you remember and laugh and maybe even cry. Don’t spend hours preparing, just find a way so all can see them, click ‘slideshow’ and let them go…
6. Help someone else.
What a great opportunity to bless someone! Maybe there is an elderly person who needs their leaves raked, or snow shoveled…If you are baking some goodies, bake some for a neighbor…Invite someone over for Thanksgiving!
Tackle the Honey-Do-List as a family. Do a project together around the house that you can accomplish in a day and that you can do together!
8. Start Meaningful conversations…
We can always count on my wife to say at our Thanksgiving dinner, “Everyone say something they are thankful for about each person.” Everyone goes around saying something they really like about one person and then on to the next person. It’s always uncomfortable, but is always a great time to build one another up.
Would you rather? Would you rather be able to fly whenever you want or be invisible? Check out this website for more great questions http://www.buzzle.com/articles/would-you-rather-questions.html
What is your most fun memory?
Your most embarrassing moment?
Favorite scripture verse?
Favorite story from the Bible?
10. Turn off the screens….iPads, computers, TVs. Unplug them!
The most important thing you can do is invite God into this weekend’s activities, so your children will be aware of His presence at home and not just at church. They will experience God in the fun family times, activities, and aromas of Thanksgiving.