As time has gone by, people have asked Sue and me for the secret to raising children who know God at a young age, walk with Him throughout their adult years, and are successful in life.
If there is one thing that has been the key to our “success” as parents, it is spending quality time as a family.
HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY SPELL “LOVE”?
I remember hearing James Dobson say on the radio, “Children spell love T-I-M-E.” I have found that statement to be very true. Wives spell love the same way, by the way.
When we first became parents, Sue had to mentor me in this area. Her love language is quality time, so naturally her love was expressed to our children and to me by spending meaningful time with us.
I grew up not spending quality time with my parents. They never took a day off. My parents were often busy with ministry and my dad’s dental lab (his “tent making” job was as a dental technician).
I cannot remember my family ever taking a family vacation; they were just trying to survive financially as immigrants in this great country. So, as you can imagine, quality time was not a priority in our home.
Sue’s parents, on the other hand, valued time. Though her mom was a very successful pediatrician, she temporarily gave up her practice to raise her children. They also had family traditions that reinforced the importance of spending time together. I am grateful for that heritage and its fruit in our marriage and family.
Creating Traditions of Time Together
When we got married, Sue and I consistently had a weekly date. Now, after 36 years of marriage, we still “date” every Monday, our day off, whenever I am not on the road.
It is also our goal to pray together every day for our children, grandchildren and the specific needs of our family and our church. Even when I am traveling, we try to connect daily for updates and prayer. (Thank God for FaceTime!)
Because this is a strong value in our lives, by God’s grace we have been fairly consistent in praying together.
When we started having children, we had “family day” once a week. Now we have family night, sort of like holding Thanksgiving dinner every week.
We are grateful that all of our children and grandchildren live in the vicinity of Pasadena—did I mentioned that we are so blessed? Every Monday night, the kids bring the grandchildren and a contribution to the meal (we usually provide the main course), and we have a weekly family dinner. If you have seen my Instagram, you know that we like to get together and eat!
This may not be what your normal routine looks like, and that’s okay. You don’t have to have the same weekly traditions we do, but spending quality time in the context of your family situation should be your objective.
GO DEEPER WITH YOUR FAMILY
God wants to see you live a fruitful life and He wants your family to be blessed. Here are a few resources that will help you build up a strong, God-honoring family:
- Danny Silk’s book book Loving Our Kids on Purpose
- Our HRock Church sermon series on the Family Mountain of Social Influence
- Join us via live-stream at HRock Church (Sundays 9:30 & 11:30am) as we continue our message series on Family at www.HRock.tv