Creating A Rhythm in Your Home
One of my favorite sections of Reggie Joiner’s book, Think Orange, was the section on creating a rhythm. It gave practical ways to start building values in children, referencing Moses’ farewell speech in Deuteronomy 6. Reggie states:
“If you are going to impress these truths in the hearts of your children, you will have to be more deliberate about creating a rhythm within your home. In the future, there will be a host of things that will distract you, and it will be easy to drift away from the importance of having an everyday kind of faith” (65).
Let’s take a look at the four times Moses mentioned:
1) Sitting (Having Meals Together)
We’ve all heard the statistics on how much meal time can impact a family, even if it’s only scheduled three or four times a week. This is the perfect time to talk about the day and pray for things that are occurring in everyone’s lives.
2) Walking (or traveling)
If you’re anything like the average American family, you’re spending a lot of time in the car. This is the perfect time to ask about your children’s day or share some “God Moments” from your own day? If you’re too tired or worn down from the day, pop in a great music CD or story instead. Some of my favorites include JumpStart3, Adventures in Odyssey, and The Pond.
If you’re one of the rare families that doesn’t spend half their waking hours driving around town, make it a habit to walk and talk together on a regular basis. Perhaps a daily after-dinner walk?
3) Lying Down (Bedtime routines)
This is something that can be continued long after children actually need tucked in. I remember sitting on the edge of my parents bed jabbering away (probably for what seemed like hours to them) every night during high school. It was a great time to talk about the day and express whatever concerns I was feeling. Even though I didn’t need this bedtime routine to nod off each night, it certainly was a cherished time (for me at least!) to reconnect with my parents. Don’t lose those crucial moments with your child — you never know what they might need to get off their chest.
In our house, we’ve also begun the routine of naptime devotions. Even though my two little ones are almost past the age of naps, we always take a little time after lunch to read through a children’s Bible together. Right now, we’re really enjoying the Learn to Read Bible.
4) In the Morning
Now, I don’t know about you, but morning is not my finest hour, especially before the coffee pot has finished brewing. However,
“Morning has the potential of planting an important emotional seed in the heart of a child. Just a few encouraging words carefully spoken or written can give your children a sense of value and instill purpose” (p. 67).
If your mornings are too hectic, considering getting up a few minutes earlier to prepare your heart and mind for the chaos just around the corner. Try to pack bags ahead of time, and keep breakfast simple. If you don’t have time (or the energy!) to speak a kind word to your children before they head out the door, tuck a note of encouragement or a simple “Praying for You” into their pocket for them to read on the bus instead.
Remember, simply spending time together as a family is an admirable practice, but it will not instill the godly values you want your child to be demonstrating. We have to be intentional, and it starts by incorporating the things listed above into our family rhythm.
What About You?
Do you have a family rhythm or routine that allows you to talk about spiritual things with your kids? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below!