Across the organization of our church, there is a program called Family Home Evening. Traditionally, this is a weekly event that takes place on Monday nights. It is a time to gather as a family unit and teach/learn about the gospel, service, morals, values, and also to have fun together.
It doesn't have to be Monday nights, but the church has specific guidelines to never plan anything on Monday nights so that it is left free for this program. There are lots of families that do it on other nights: another weeknight, or even Sunday evening. So when skating lessons came up on Monday nights, I told myself we would just pick another night.
Well, that was an epic fail. Somehow other things came up, or we simply forgot. There's something about having 20 years of Family Home Evening on Mondays nights in my own home growing up that has seared Monday into my memory. And so with skating over, I am recommitting myself to this weekly event.
I will also admit that the recommitment comes at a time when I've noticed some real issues cropping up. One of the boys is starting to have an issue with white lies. Another is having temper problems. The physical contact (while I admit is often just boys rough-housing) is getting a little out of control. Plus we are helping Colin aim for a baptism in December. And I have realized that it's just too easy to fall into the day-to-day trap instead of intentional parenting.
Today I've pulled out two books, plus one online resource to start planning Family Home Evening lessons ahead of time. Here's the outline, of 4 evenings a month:
1) Values: using "Teaching Your Children Values" by Linda and Richard Eyre, focus on a different value each month.
2) Service: using "52 Weeks of Fun Family Service" by MerriLee Boyack, do one service project a month
3) Baptism: using several online resources, talk about the different aspects of belief in God, Jesus, and the importance of choosing baptism once a month
4) Fun activity: game night, going out to do something together, etc.
Here's hoping for (another) renewal and recommitment on my part to be more intentional in this area.