Why Not Try This? …Spend an hour with your child(ren) just having fun!

A pastor’s life can be non-stop. There is that sermon to write, that visit to make, that committee to attend, those reaping meetings to plan for, those new members to introduce to other members, and those church leaders to train. Sometimes our own families can be squeezed out.

But what if you just dropped everything for an hour and spent some time with your children having fun? An hour is long enough to pull together a game of family football, play catch with a softball or kick the soccer ball back and forth. It’s long enough to play a game of Encore, Catch Phrase, Careers or several games of Connect Four. An hour is long enough to go for a walk in the woods or along a trail or to take a short drive together. It’s long enough to just listen to how things are going with your child in Pathfinders or how they are doing in science, math or Bible at school. An hour is long enough to find out about your child’s friends and their hobbies. It’s long enough to help them clean their room or to help them with some chores that have become overwhelming. An hour is long enough to help them open a savings account at the nearby bank. It’s long enough for them to try to teach you to skateboard or to take you on a (scary?) practice drive. And it’s long enough to read them a story or to tuck them into bed, lie down beside them, sing them a song, and listen to something that happened to them that day.

Years ago my wife found this poem that is a reminder that fun with the kids is more important than a clean house. She framed it and hung it in one of our bathrooms.

This is a Home Where Children Live (by Judith Bond)

     You may not find things all in place,

     Friend, when you enter here.

     But, we’re a home where children live,

     We hold them very dear.


     And you may find small fingerprints

     And smudges on the wall.

     When the kids are gone, we’ll clean them up,

     Right now we’re playing ball.


     For there’s one thing of which we’re sure,

     These children are on loan.

     One day they’re always underfoot,

     Next thing you know, they’re gone.


     That’s when we’ll have a well kept house,

     When they’re off on their own.

     Right now, this is where children live,

     A loved and lived in home.

Letting our children know we have fun when we’re with them is so important. “Smile, parents; smile, teachers. If your heart is sad, let not your face reveal the fact. Let the sunshine from a loving, grateful heart light up the countenance. Unbend from your iron dignity, adapt yourselves to the children’s needs, and make them love you. You must win their affection, if you would impress religious truth upon their heart.”  {Adventist Home p. 432.2}

Having fun with our children can set in motion more ministry than all the sermons we will ever preach. “One well-ordered, well-disciplined family tells more in behalf of Christianity than all the sermons that can be preached. Such a family gives evidence that the parents have been successful in following God’s directions, and that their children will serve Him in the church. Their influence grows; for as they impart, they receive to impart again. The father and mother find helpers in their children, who give to others the instruction received in the home. The neighborhood in which they live is helped, for in it they have become enriched for time and for eternity. The whole family is engaged in the service of the Master; and by their godly example, others are inspired to be faithful and true to God in dealing with His flock, His beautiful flock.”  {Adventist Home p. 32.1}

That one hour memory of fun with Dad or Mom will last for a lifetime for both of you. So do it! And make it a habit!
Blessings to you,Dan Serns

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