From the time our children were very young we have had a weekly “family night.” This is an evening we set aside each week where we eat a special dinner together and do a fun activity. The purpose is to build family closeness and create special memories. Now some 25 years later, we have a whole collection of memories that we review often with fondness and laughter. I must tell you, though, that some of our laughter comes from remembering family nights that went awry. We had times when our fun activity became a “resolving conflict activity” or times when the fun activity turned out to be not so fun after all! Like the time I planned for everyone to paint those little plaster houses to display under our Christmas tree. I had picked up this great idea from another mom, only I neglected to consider the fact that her family is very talented when it comes to doing crafts while my family is not. Our painting project did not go well. By the end of the evening, we had not succeeded in producing pretty painted Christmas houses; sinful attitudes were being displayed instead. Given how dreadful the houses looked, we eventually threw them away. Though we weren’t laughing on this particular family night, we have certainly laughed about it many times since. This goes to show that even when a family night doesn’t go as planned it can still be a fun memory someday. And we want to provide our families with a whole lot of fun memories! That’s why family nights are well worth the time and effort it takes to make them happen. As Tedd Tripp points out:
“The most powerful way to keep your child from being attracted by the offers of camaraderie with the wicked is to make home an attractive place to be. Young people do not run from places where they are loved and know unconditional acceptance. They do not run away from homes where there are solid relationships. They do not run from homes in which the family is planning activities and doing exciting things.” Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Wapwallopen, Pa.: Shepherd Press, 1995), 195.
Now I am always on the lookout for creative ideas for family nights, and I’m sure many of you are as well. So we thought we would post some of our favorites over the next several days, and we’d also like to hear about yours. If you have a fun family activity you’d like to share with everyone, please email us by clicking on the “Email me” link on the left sidebar. We will post some of the best ideas next week. We look forward to hearing from you!