What are you talking about in your home? The schedule for working around another soccer tournament this weekend? Homework and that class project? Logistics for going three directions with two cars? Or is that done via text and Outlook Calendar?
What should be talked about in the home? In “Revolutionary Parenting” George Barna documented that “nationwide, fewer than one out of every ten born-again families read the Bible together during a typical week or pray together during a typical week, excluding mealtimes. Discussing faith principles as a normal part of decision making is highly unusual, even in ‘Christian’ America.”
You should love Him, your True God, with all your heart and soul and strength. Make the things I am commanding you today part of who you are. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting together in your home and when you are walking together down the road. Make them the last thing you talk about before you go to bed and the first thing you talk about the next morning. – Deuteronomy 6:5-7. The timing here is significant: when you are sitting together – hopefully it includes supper time or possibly family time after a meal with no technology in use; when you are walking together – it could be a physical walk or maybe a ride in the car, again with no technology in use; last thing… before you go to bed – a great time to ask kids about struggles they are facing, pray with them or have a family prayer/devotion time; first thing … the next morning – starting each day with prayer over the kids, encouraging them for the day ahead and worshipping the Lord for the blessing of family. When time is made for talking about such things in the home, dads and moms provide the foundation for kids to navigate through all the noise the world will throw at them.
Today with television, computers and cell phones, dialogue in family has taken a back seat to staying connected in social media networks. Parents can be caught in a reactive mode when they begin to learn about what is going on via social media. Talking about edgy topics such as healthy relationships, sexuality and pornography in the home is awkward. Learning that your daughter snapchatted a partially nude photograph under pressure from her boyfriend is life-changing. The home must be established as a safe place for kids to discuss edgy topics. If not, peers and the internet are more than happy to fill the gap. If you live in the Houston area, click here for info on a forum being held this month for dads, moms and youth that will help open the door for candid discussion on an edgy topic.
Prayer guide: My Father, thank You for the family You have blessed me with. I confess that I am a man caught up in the world much more than I am caught up in You. Faith principles have not been a normal part of my decision making at work or in the home. Forgive me. Help me embrace the commands You have given me more today than yesterday, more tomorrow than today. Equip me to reflect those commands as part of who I am as I talk with my children when we are sitting together, walking together, wrapping up the day and first thing every morning. Keep Your hedge of protection around my marriage and family on this journey called fathering. Amen.
A faithful father talks about edgy topics in family before peers and the internet take over the dialogue.