When I graduated from Bible college, I served on staff at Liberty Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. My pastor at the time, Dave Teis, taught me much about what it means to serve the Lord with my family. He and his wife spent many hours with us to prepare us for life in ministry. What we observed, however, taught us so much more than what they said.
Every Monday was Pastor Teis’ day off. I learned quickly how much he valued that day off when I decided to call him one Monday to simply ask, “If there’s anything I can do for him.” A noble question, for sure. But when asked on the wrong day, well, let just say I never interrupted his day off again!
God gave us a pattern for work and rest. He worked for six days and on the seventh day, He rested – not because God was tired. He rested to give us an example to follow.
I’m fearful that in 21st century American society, we have been so influenced by the fast-paced lifestyle that we find ourselves making comments like, “Life flies by so fast. Where did all that time go?” The truth is we all have the same amount of time in a day, a week, a month, and a year. But why is it some people and their families seem to have more time to make memories? It comes down to one word – planning!
A few years ago, I found myself getting increasingly busier in ministry. I was engaging in more matters of personal and public ministry due to how God was working in my life. I knew it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t worried about burning out because I knew that every duty that lay before me were given to me my God. But it forced me to “number my days” more carefully. Even though most of my days were carefully planned, I neglected to include within my calendar the most important ministry of all, my family.
So, on a date night, my wife and I decided that we would take some time to plan out for the year when we were having family days. I do have my date nights on that calendar, too, and I’ve written about that before. But this article will address the matter of spending time with your family. Not only does your spouse need your attention, your kids do, too! I want to help you be proactive in planning your family days (yes, it’s not a mistake, that’s plural).
First, place in on the calendar
What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done! Our lives quickly fill up with things to do. If we don’t treat our family days as a God-given duty that needs to be scheduled, then it will seldom happen, if ever at all.
Second, plan what to do
It’s great to plan on “when,” but you must also plan on “what” you’ll be doing. If you don’t, you’ll end up on the couch watching TV all day long and frankly, that’s not the best way to spend a family day.
Pastor Teis used to let each of his children (he had five) choose each week what they wanted to do. The result? They looked forward to that day when they had Dad all to themselves!
By the way, it’s okay to be spontaneous about what you want to do. But decide what it won’t be – sitting around and doing nothing! Click here to get some ideas on what you can do during your family days.
Third, prepare for what to do
It may cost money. It may require a longer drive. You may have to make some phone calls. You may have to gather some equipment or prepare some meals-to-go. It’s great that you planned the “when” and the “what.” But now you must sit down and strategize, addressing the “how.”
Fourthly, perform the plan
Have fun. Laugh. Take pictures. Talk. Make memories. Reconnect with your family like never before!
Finally, process and repeat
What would you have done to make that family day better? And more importantly, plan on doing it again.
Don’t waste your day. Your family is important to God so they should be important to you!