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Advent at Home


I love the shifting of seasons.  A couple years ago my wife said her favorite season of the year was ‘start.’  Huh?  ‘Start,’ she said.  The first 2-3 weeks of each season.  She’s pretty smart, isn’t she?  I love the change of seasons—and we are upon one right now.  The Advent season is upon us, almost in full swing.  And with the beginning of a new church year and a new season we all have the opportunity to pause for a moment, reflect, and approach the change with some newness, freshness, and focus.  Harness the change in season and church year to change your behaviors too!  Advent is a wonderful time to be intentional about investing some time with your family.  If you have young children, you have a great opportunity and responsibility to pour your life into theirs.  If your children are older, this season is a powerful chance to serve alongside your teens and make an impact for someone else that will impact your family as well.  Don’t miss the possibilities of this season!

I am a big proponent of family ministry.  Scripture is very clear that the home is the locus of faith formation and life formation (read Deuteronomy 6).  The church has done a disservice to our families by allowing families to outsource faith formation and education to some building with a cross on top of it.  I’d much rather our kids walk around with tags in their shirts that say, “This faith was made at home” than “This faith was made at church.”  Growing faith in your family is way too important to leave to the ‘professionals!’

I know Advent is a crazy time of year.  There are a whole lot of extra things that need to get done.  I’d like to challenge you to prioritize those things.  What would it look like if you added a family game night to the top of the list?  What about taking the bulletin home from church on Sunday and reading the Gospel lesson every night together around the dinner table?  What if your dinner conversation centered on some questions that help you invest in your family’s life?  Here are some examples: What was the best part of the day?  What was the worst part?  Where did you make a mistake today?  What surprised you today?  Where did you see God at work today?  How did you help somebody else today?  Who do you know that we can pray for as we say our dinner prayer?  Did anything that happened today connect with the Gospel lesson we just read?

The great part about those questions is that you don’t need to be a theologian to ask them or answer them.  You will learn amazing things about your children—and they might learn some cool things about you too!

I know that dinnertime is crazy.  I know that bedtime is even crazier.  I’ve got 6 kids under the age of 8 at home—I know!  I have a whole lot of growing to do as a Dad and I get it wrong more than I get it right.  But, whatever I do, I do my best to make time for my kids, to let them know that I care deeply about them, and to tell them and show them love.  I hope you do the same.  As Advent begins, I’m recommitting to investing in my kids, my wife, and our family.  Will you join me?  What questions would you add to the mix?


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