When looking up the word “family” you’ll find a general definition related to a group of people, who can be related by blood, or not, but who maintains a relationship of common origins or interests.
According to the Bible, the family has the role of instructing (Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 22:6), serving the Lord and (Joshua 24:15), loving (Psalms 103:17-18), respecting (Ephesians 5:33), honoring (Exodus 20:12), caring for (1 Timothy 5: 8), and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32) each other, among other roles that serve to educate and mold individuals to contribute not only to the family unit but also to be a light for society.
If we analyze the definitions found in the Bible we will see that the summary of all the roles instituted by God is love, but often we limit ourselves to the definitions found in dictionaries. We reduce family to meaning people with whom we share a lineage or the same roof.
But God wants more for us. He wants our homes and families to be our support, our community, our source of love. God chose family bonds to illustrate the love He (the Father) has towards us (His children) in sending down Jesus (His Son) to die for us (His fellow children of God). Have you been reflecting that love with your family? Sometimes this isn’t the easiest thing to do. It requires patience and intentionality.
Here are some things we can do to cultivate love as a family for each other and for those around us.
1. Seek the Lord together
Despite the busy routine of the week, try to reconcile your schedules so that you can have daily worship together. To avoid getting stuck in routine, try seeking the Lord in different ways. Study a day or a question from the Sabbath Bible lesson together, read and comment on a family devotional, or recite individual Bible verses. It can be a family prayer meeting where everyone has the opportunity to share prayer requests followed by a time of praying for one another or perhaps a different family worship system that works for you and your family. Use your imagination, consult your family members, and find what works best. The important thing is to always carve out some time for daily worship.
Also note that if not everyone in your family is able or willing to participate, this is still worthwhile to do with those who can participate!
2. Work Together
We often associate family time as “lazy time” where we sit back and watch a movie or eat out. But being active as a family to complete a task can strengthen family ties even more. Choose a common interest in the family and engage in a project together. May this will involve a renovation project, cooking a meal together, volunteering in the community, or visit a u-pick farm. On their own, these tasks may seem tedious, but if everyone gets involved and works together to complete something bigger there will be positive outcomes enjoyed by all.
3. Have fun together
Having said that, there’s nothing better than making good memories with the people we love and those often include moments of leisure! Find an activity that suits you and your family the most. You can travel together, play a game, go for a hike, try Snapchat filters, or maybe watch a movie together.
As always, imagination will be your best friend. We also have a list for you below to get you started!
These were just a few suggestions on how it is possible to develop family love and strengthen family ties, and we hope they help. What activities do you like or would like to do with your family members? Tell us in the comments so we can inspire each other!
- Go for a nature walk.
- Volunteer at a food bank or animal shelter.
- Write down as many books of the Bible as you can in 5 minutes. Here’s a timer.
- Cook pasta and let everyone prepare some of it differently. Try everyone’s dish.
- Start an indoor (or outdoor!) garden.
- Print out a map of your country (or the world!) and color in all the places you’ve visited.
- Paint one room in your house.
- Write love notes and hide them around the house for each other to find.
- Make a domino spiral (use other objects that aren’t dominoes).
- Put together a food basket (or a thank you basket) for a neighbor who could use it.
- Hold a family talent show.
- Find and go through your family photos of past vacations.
- Build a fort and watch a documentary inside it.
- Give each family member a garbage bag to fill with objects and clothing to donate/remove from their room.
- FaceTime a family member to sing them Happy Birthday as a family.
- Have a picnic in your backyard or the middle of your living room!
- Build an obstacle course for the kids in the house.
- Remember hopscotch?
- Guess the scene! Each family member has 3 minutes to act out a Bible scene for the others to guess.
- Play STOP!
- Every person says one thing they are looking forward to in heaven and why. No repeats. Three rounds.
- Do a stretching workout.
- Take a bag and some inexpensive kitchen tongs and pick up litter in your neighborhood.
- Everyone pre-packs a smoothie (or more) to freeze for the week.
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Here’s a free list of things to find.
- Make a schedule and every week one person is tasked with teaching everyone else something new (how to change a tire, how to sew a button, how to read notes, how to make tea, etc.).
- Take an online (exercise, cooking, language) class together.
- Rehearse a song or activity to present at your church’s next youth meeting (or organize one!).
- Write your pastor’s family a thank you note/card wherein each family member leaves a message.
- Have a fancy candle-lit dinner where everyone has a part to do (cook, clean, set the table,) and dress up for it!