Family Night, one night a week, is the best idea for Christian families anyone ever had!
But keep it simple! And do something where the family TALKS together (instead of vegging-out in front of a rental movie or video game).
If you are just beginning the practice of weekly Family Night, maybe you’ld like to try this was to begin:
- Play together a favorite board game or card game.
- Enjoy a special snack. (But keep it easy! And if the family can all pile into the kitchen and prepare it together, all the better — think: popcorn).
- Somewhere in the evening, (NOT AT THE END OF THE EVENING) gather together around a lighted candle. Read aloud Isaiah 43:19-21.
- Talk together about how it feels to start afresh, and that God forgives mistakes and offers us new challenges each year.
- Share one way that God helped you during the past year and invite other family members to do the same.
- Then hold hands and have everyone pray a sentence prayer of thanks to God and hope for the new start. (Dad starts.)Then pass out slips of paper (Each person should use a different colored paper or marker from everyone else)
— Have each family member write down on slips of paper something FREE to do as a family: reading a book aloud; playing a game the whole family can play together; going to the park together ; walks; croquet; badminton; basketball; model clay; make collages of seeds or noodles; sing old songs; have an everybody-do-something talent show; light candles & play old records; catch fireflies; roast marshmallows over the grill; redecorate all the bulletin boards in the house; make Valentines or Christmas cards; make popcorn balls; do a jigsaw puzzle; etc
Important Rule: Mom & Dad can put in fun things that cost money if they want to do so, but only adults or children-with-money-of-their-own-who-intend-to-pay-for-everyone can put in something for the whole family to do together that will cost money.
— Give each family member a different colored piece of paper (or use different colored markers for each family member) on which to write each of his or her suggested family activity; the person whose color is selected one week does not get another turn until all the other colors have been chosen
— When the designated evening rolls around, pull a slip of paper from the fun box and do whatever it tells you
— Add to the box as family members come up with additional ideas
Keep it fun and simple!
Speaking of keeping it fun …
So Jesus took His disciples up on the mountain and gathered them around Him. And He taught them saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
Blessed are the meek,
Blessed are the merciful,
Blessed are you who thirst for justice,
Blessed are you who are persecuted,
Blessed and the peacemakers …
And Simon Peter asked, “Do we have to write this stuff down?”
And Philip asked, “Will this be on the test?”
And John said, “I’m sorry. Would you mind repeating what you just said?”
And Andrew complained, “John the Baptist’s disciples don’t have to learn any of this stuff!”
And Judas asked, “What does any of this have to do with real life?”
And one of the Pharisees, an expert teacher, said, “I don’t see any of this in your syllabus. Do you have a lesson plan? Is there a summary? Where is the student guide? Do you have any follow-up assignments planned?”
And Thomas, who had missed the sermon, came to Jesus privately and asked, “Did we do anything important yesterday?”
And Jesus wept.
I included this just in case you sometimes feel nibbled to death by ducks .. You are in very good company.