The beginning of a new year offers the promise of a fresh start. Many people celebrate by resolving to make changes, often related to how they care for their bodies.
This year, take time to reflect on what you can do differently in your home to strengthen your family—and each member’s faith in God. Use these ideas to transform your family in 2012:
Begin the day with music: Mornings are hectic in most houses. Play some soft Christian music to wake everyone up and to set the tone for a calm, God-directed day.
Reclaim mealtime: Eat together as often as possible. Research points to all kinds of child-development benefits from this practice. But family meals also help you get to know one another better—and provide opportunities for faith growth. For example, ask specific, open-ended questions, such as “What’s the best thing that happened to you today? The worst?”
Make devotions fun and active: Bible reading should be a social, bonding opportunity, not a dry discipline devoid of purpose. Use resources such as the “Family Night Tool Chest” series by Jim Weidmann and others (Chariot Victor), the “Not-So-Quiet Times” devotion series by Tracy Harrast (Standard), and 52 Fun Family Devotions by Mike and Amy Nappa (Augsburg Fortress).
Develop a family mission statement. As a family, pinpoint your worthy purposes, worthy visions, and worthy values. A mission statement will unite you because everyone gives input into your family’s “big picture.” And God will be placed at the center of your home on purpose, not by chance.
Keep It Short: You can make a big impact even when you’re short on time. For example, read aloud one Bible verse at the breakfast table to start the day. At bedtime, tell a Bible story in your own words. Remember: “Short passages for short people.”
Take a Pause: Your family doesn’t always need to be on the go. This year, make it a priority to step away from some commitments and shorten your to-do list. Use the extra time to regroup, reconnect, and recharge.
Be Peacemakers: If one of your goals is less sibling conflict, help redirect tension by focusing on positive qualities. Whenever one family member is mean-spirited to another, have the offender say or write three things he or she appreciates about the other person. This will make your family more tenderhearted and thankful for one another.