Recommended Activities for Young Families

We live in an age in which our time is a precious commodity. In many homes, both mother and father are working, sometimes on different shifts. After school is out and the work day is over, the family scatters in different directions because they’ve obligated themselves to various programs and activities. The families that make up the local church don’t have time for one another or for promoting the kingdom of God. This is a shame, because there’s no other means of receiving blessings that are obtained through spending quality time together.

We can lament this situation, but the reality is that we make the time to do the things that we want to do. The following are some suggestions that young families can do together in their service to God and their brethren.

First, make attending all the assemblies a priority. There’s nothing better you can do as a family than to take your place among God’s people during the times of worship and Bible study (Psalm 122:1). If we’re members of a local church, we have committed ourselves to support the work of the church with our faithful attendance. God has designed our assemblies in such a way that we benefit from attendance. We leave these assemblies built up and encouraged to greater faithfulness. Our children need to be present and prepared for their Bible classes. The lessons that they learn in these classes help to develop their knowledge of God and His Word, as well as to develop their character. These lessons will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Sometimes worship assemblies are sacrificed for other family activities — this is not “quality time.”

Second, pray with and read the Bible with your children every day. Some call it “Family Devotional Time,” others call it “Family Worship Time.” It doesn’t need a name, but whatever you may want to call it — it’s good and right for parents to spend time in prayer and Bible reading with their children. Fathers in particular are instructed to bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Regarding the commandments of the Lord, Moses instructed fathers to “teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). Bible classes at the local church aren’t a substitute for parents spending time teaching the Bible to their children.

Third, prepare a meal for someone. There are plenty of chances to help others in this way. Perhaps a member has lost a loved one or has a family member in the hospital, they have returned from vacation, are remodeling their home, or are moving. They don’t have the time to cook for themselves, and a prepared meal would be a great help to them. This can be done as a family. The children can help prepare the meal, and can go with you when you deliver it. They need to see first-hand what it means to sacrifice for the benefit of someone else.

Fourth, have a family from the local congregation into your home. While some of us are reluctant to have people in our homes, we need to remember that Christians are commanded to be hospitable (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9). Children can help prepare the meal, clean up the house, play with other children who may be invited, etc. While we may be quick to invite our friends into our homes, we need to get outside of our comfort zone and purposely invite members that we don’t know very well. The time in our home around our table will provide the perfect opportunity for us to get to know them better.

Fifth, have a gospel meeting night. Gospel meetings combine the blessings of assembling with the saints, seeing old friends, and meeting new people. While most brethren are good at supporting their own gospel meetings, they don’t think of attending other meetings in the area. I once heard brother Connie Adams talk about the practice of having a family gospel meeting night. Set aside a night of the week in which your family will be attending a gospel meeting in the area. Think of the benefits that your family will receive. You’ll be spending time in worship to God and hearing His Word. The time spent traveling to and from the meeting is time spent together as a family. Your children will learn that there are other churches that are trying to serve God faithfully, and will likely make new friends as a result of visiting these other congregations. And, you may meet other young families who, like you, are trying to raise godly children in the midst of the struggles of everyday life.

Sixth, visit the sick and shut-ins. Not everyone is cut out for this, but it needs to be done. For one thing, it’s an expression of our love and care to go to those who are in need. Second, Jesus says that when we do good to our brethren, we do good to Him (Matthew 25:35-40). Finally, we may be in that situation ourselves one day. We’ll be in a poor position to complain that no one cares to come see us if we never cared to go and see someone else. Now, it’s not always best to take children to see those who are sick and shut-in. But we’re doing our children a favor by getting them over the uneasiness of visiting hospitals, nursing homes, etc., and preparing them to do this great work as adults.

There are other things that can be done. This list is just a means of getting us thinking about positive things that we can be doing as a family.

Heath Rogers