Post by Jason Wing
A few important disclaimers before you read: a) These are some of the routines that have become valuable in our family. They are NOT intended as a list of things that you should pursue in yours. b) Furthermore, please don’t think that we have flawlessly practiced these. There have been countless drops and failures. c) Lastly, the goal here to present practical things, not so much theological arguments. So you’re not going to see a lot of verses of churchy language in this article. All that being said, I hope this helps you and your family in some small way.
1. Morning News
Each morning Rachel intentionally turns on the news to see what’s going on in the world. Our older kids (6&7 years old) have ended up paying attention, being interested, and asking questions. This has lead into some great points of conversation with our kids. We hope they grow up knowing that OUR world is not THE world.
Value: Global world issues are important
2. School time & Screen Time
We homeschool our kids. Well, who am I kidding? It’s not as much “we” and it is “she.” Rachel does almost all the the schooling. Because our kids are home most of the day, they have access to the television, tablet, and computer screen more than kids who are in a traditional school room. Rachel’s in a great “rhythm” of teaching them to complete a portion of their school work and then they may have a short amount of screen time. We want them to understand that screen time is a reward, not a right.
Value: Work should come before play
3. Tackles & Secret Handshakes
Almost everyday when I walk in the door, the kids ask if we can play tackle. We get on the floor and wrestle - boys and girls. Oftentimes, as I am walking OUT the door, the kids want to do a secret handshake - yes, it’s a secret that the kids don’t share with each other. I honestly don’t know why the kids like this so much, but they do… and it gives us a couple simple and personal ways to laugh and smile together on the regular.
Value: Make time to have fun in little ways
4. Mealtimes & Prayer
Both Rach and I are thankful that we had parents who valued family dinners and taught us to pray before eating. We have passed this value down to our kids. We try to eat dinner together as a family at least four times per week, and each dinner is preceded by prayer. The person who prays aloud varies from day to day - sometimes it’s dad, sometimes mom, sometimes a child. These prayer times are more than asking God to “bless this food to our bodies.” (I mean, is God really supposed to make the fried foods and fatty dressings a blessing to our bodies?) These prayer times are for thanking God for the blessings that are on our hearts… including the meal before us.
Value: God graciously gives and is worthy of our thanksgiving
Part 2 with points 5-9 will be posted tomorrow.
Jason Wing is one of the teaching pastors at Apex. He is an elder and he shepherds a House Church in Region 1. He and his wife, Rachel live in Dayton with their four children.