School's out for summer (Cue theme music). For my family, it couldn't get here fast enough. The trouble is that if we aren't intentional, the entire summer can slip away without us experiencing what God has in mind for our kids. Here's three things you can do to make the most of your summer:
In order to make this summer truly count for your family, remember what God has called you to do. He's called you make disciples (Matt. 28). As parents, God goes further. He instructs you should to make disciples of your children. As their primary spiritual influence, you must show them what it means to be a believer. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 makes how to do this crystal clear:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children
First, have a living, growing, and vibrant faith. The only way to teach it diligently to your children is first to possess it yourself. Then, and only then, you can do what God has called you to do: teach them diligently in everyday moments of life.
Families benefit from structure. Just because it's summer doesn't mean there should be no routine. But the structure should look different than it does during the school year. Include some unstructured time in your schedule, but don't forget to make plans. Put that trip to the pool or baseball game on your calendar before you miss the chance. And be sure to make time to go outside.
Create routines where kids can grow in spiritual disciplines. Help them to start reading the Bible regularly on their own. Help them create a routine of keeping a prayer journal. Create routines where they can ask you questions. Above all, make it fun!
School is out for a very simple reason. Teachers and students need a break. They need to rest ... and so do you. Take a vacation. Take a staycation if you have to. Put your work and e-mail away and make some intentional memories with your family.
Don't let this summer come to an end with the guilt of what might have been. Be intentional this summer. You never know what God may do.