Family Value #4 Create A Rhythm
This was one of my favorite sections of this chapter because it gave some hands-on, practical ways to really start building values in children. Reggie dissects Moses’ final speech (Deuteronomy 6) to the Israelites and brings it some modern day application. He puts it this way, “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. (In fact, I’m reading a book on that very subject right now — more on that later!). This is the perfect time to talk about the day and pray for things that are occurring in everyone’s lives. (Anyone have some great meal time traditions? I’d love to hear!)
2) Walking (or traveling)
We all know that talking in the car is a little easier for kids because they don’ t actually have to make eye contact with their parent. According to Moses’ speech, this must have been the case for the Israelites as well. When little Nempa wanted to tell his dad he had stored too much manna for that day, he may have requested they take a little stroll through the desert to do so. Who knows?
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.
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, Reggie says, “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” (67).
Remember, it is not enough to just spend time together as a family. Of course, this is good, but it will not instill the godly values you want your child to be demonstrating. I had a teacher in high school who had a favorite phrase whenever someone laid their head down on their textbook. He said, “You planning on learning through osmosis?” Of course, we can’t learn the contents of a book that way and children can’t learn our internal values just by being close. We have to be intentional, and it starts by incorporating the things listed above into our family rhythm.