If you are a Christ-follower, you surely want to grow closer to Him and to your family. This summer provides a great opportunity to do just that! Because of the good weather, longer days, and children not being in school, you can maximize the time you spend together to grow and be strengthened in your relationship with God and with one another. Here are 7 ways to take advantage of the time.
1. Be Intentional
There is an old saying that goes, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” So be intentional! Make it a specific effort to spend quality time together with your family. If you want to grow closer as a family, you must spend time together. Some of the following “keys” to taking advantage of the summer will certainly give some ways to kick start this intentionality, but in reality it’s up to you! You know your family the best, and your creativity in being intentional with them will make all the difference.
2. Play Together
Set aside time each week to play together. Schedule it in, even. Perhaps give one member of your family at a time the free reign to decide the activity for that week, whatever it is, no matter how cheesy or silly. Follow through with a good attitude and have fun doing it! You may want to set a limit on time and cost depending in your budget. (Hint: Use this time to model glorifying God in leisure moments.)
3. Read Together
The summer is a great time to read biographies of great men and women of faith. Depending on the age level, you may have to give your child a synopsis of the book or article. Christian biographies are great ways to inspire and encourage character qualities in the lives of your children. This will help keep them sharp for the upcoming school year and instill spiritual principles at the same time!
4. Serve Together
One of the greatest things you can model before your children is service. The Lord Jesus said in Mark’s gospel, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.” There are lots of things you can do with your family to model service and serve together – work at a homeless shelter, meet a pressing need for a widow, serve at the “soup kitchen,” show kindness to the homeless, and help cut grass for someone on vacation.
5. Memorize Scripture Together
One way to “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” is to memorize scripture. Consider doing verses together as a family. Verses that remind us to depend upon God and live for Him would be best:
Proverbs 3:5–6 Romans 12:12 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Psalm 1:2 1 Peter 5:7 Mark 10:45
These are just a few. Memorize one a week and make it your theme for the week.
6. Take a Trip Together
Summer is perfect for going on a day trip or a vacation. On that trip, focus on spending quality time with the family away from technology, computers, and cell phones. Help your kids know that they are the center of your attention!
The trip doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive: encourage taking a hike, going fishing, or going camping to enjoy the outdoors. This would be a great opportunity to remind your children about the majesty and glory of God in creation!
7. Do a Project Together
Work on a tree house, build a go-cart, clean the garage, paint a fence, or grow a garden. Whatever the project, do it together as a family. Have an “all hands on deck” mindset and then when the project is completed, throw a party to celebrate.
There are so many ways to hang out and be together over the summer, they can’t be listed here. Tailor your individual activities to your family and be intentional about it, and you can instill principles and memories that will last a lifetime!