“He who gathers during summer and takes advantage of his opportunities is a son who acts wisely.” Proverbs 10:5
The Opportunity of Summer: Renewing Your Child’s Mind & Family Relationships
The Bible tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). With school completed for the year and schedules more relaxed, summer is the perfect opportunity for your children to renew their minds and their family relationships through spending time in God’s Word. In our family, we like to do our devotions right after breakfast to ensure this important time doesn’t get pushed aside.
Mama, one of the best uses of your time is to teach your children about God. Take advantage of the summer to teach your children what you are learning from the Lord. Mull over the Bible as God leads you. Read excellent, godly books and devotions. Linger in worship and dance together. When the Lord is leading, you will be so amazed at how He ties your devotion time with your children together. When we are finished with our family devotion time in the morning, I find that it is a beautiful transition to send my children away to spend their own time with the Lord.
While your children spend alone time with the Lord, give them the freedom to journal, color, read, listen to worship, dance, or just be quiet and listen. The only thing I require is that they are alone with God. Keep it as short as they need. Have supplies available that match their interests. You will know when they are ready for this time. If you have little ones, they can sit right next to you as you model. It’s so fun to watch your children’s relationships with God blossom as they realize they too can spend time with Him.
After a special summer focusing on God and retreating a bit from the world, I believe your children will desire to continue this precious time with their Heavenly Father into the next season.
Summer is also a unique time for children to slow down from other commitments and just be together. If we are faithful to initiate this needed time, it can bring a lot of life to our homes.
It is important to keep ongoing discussions about their relationships with their siblings. They need our help to see the big picture. We can ask questions like, “What do you want your relationship with your siblings to be like in five, ten, or thirty years from now?” Discuss how their treatment of each other now will affect the outcome of their relationships in the future. We can show our children that their siblings are their built-in best friends. This mostly happens as a result of spending more time together than with other friends outside the home.
When school is out and children are less scheduled, they often fight and argue more. No matter the season, if my children are having a hard time with each other, I know they may need alone time with my husband or me to affirm and build them up personally, or they may need one-on-one time with their siblings to bond and strengthen their relationships with each other. We have three children in our family, so sometimes one child is left out. My oldest and youngest are further apart and need encouragement to spend time together.
It is helpful for our children to look within themselves instead of blaming others. Discuss together what little changes they can make that will make a big difference in their relationships with their siblings. Talk about having humility, not being easily offended, forgiving quickly, helping each other, not teasing, believing the best, initiating play, and desiring to be together. Help them to understand that if they can handle conflict well inside their home, they will be able to master it with others outside their home. God intends for our home to be a safe place in which we can practice with those who love us.
I know God is going to fill you and your family with His love and goodness as you seek Him. May this be a summer to remember!
Blessings and Love,
- Are your children having difficulty keeping peace with each other? It is helpful to pray about it and observe their interactions to get to the heart issues. Is God impressing on your heart any particular cause, such as lack of attention, insecurity, jealousy, or not feeling loved? If we can get to the root, we can help our children overcome these problems that are affecting them and the family as a whole.
- Are you getting your daily time in with the Lord? If not, this is never something we should feel guilty about but instead should ask God to give us the time to spend with Him. He’s not mad at you when it doesn’t happen, He just misses you and looks forward to the next time you will have together!
Make a devotion basket for your children. Some things you could include are a Bible, Scripture coloring book, colored pencils, Scripture memory cards, a worship CD, and a journal.