Family faith night — a time when you and your kids study Scripture and grow spiritually together — is one of the hottest topics among churches, ministries and parents today.
But does family faith night really benefit families, or merely add another activity to crammed schedules?
As a family faith night “practitioner” for 12 years, I can say from experience it definitely blesses my family. In fact, here are 10 ways family faith night benefits kids — and parents, too. This list is not exhaustive. But in no particular order, family night …
1. Gets you and your kids reading and discussing God’s Word as a family. What activity trumps the importance of families studying Scripture together?
2. Gives you a powerful tool for passing your faith to your children and teens. You’re fulfilling Psalm 78:4 — We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done.
3. Provides a regular platform for you to answer your kids’ spiritual questions. Once family faith night becomes a tradition, your children will feel safe asking questions they have about God, the Bible, evil, angels, heaven and problems they face daily.
4. Teaches your kids that the Bible is the trustworthy truth source for your life and theirs. As they see you turning to Scripture and relying on its wisdom, they’ll learn that they can base their lives on its promises, instructions and commands, too.
5. Teaches your children how to study God’s Word. By studying Scripture with you, they learn through the years how to figure out what verses and passages mean. It’s like having a personal Bible tutor.
6. Shows your kids how to apply God’s Word to their lives. They learn this not only during your family night studies but also by your example as you apply verses you’ve read together to your own life. Remember: Your kids are watching your every move.
7. Sends the message that your children are vitally important to you. Most kids receive love through the gift of time. By carving out time in your schedule each week or each day for a family night (or breakfast), you’re sending them the message that you love and value them.
8. Opens communication channels between you and your children. I don’t know if the stat is true that the average father spends three minutes a day in meaningful conversation with his kids. If it is, that’s absentee parenting. Regular family nights connect you with your children. The result? Your kids will open up to you more willingly. Why? Because they know and trust you.
9. Gives opportunities to teach your children the key spiritual disciplines, or habits, for a healthy relationship with God. You can incorporate a variety of practices into your family faith nights: taking prayer requests, praying for each other and for others, singing praise songs together, inviting other Christian families to join you for fellowship and even serving others in your church and community — such as baking cookies for a shut-in, writing letters to missionaries or taking a couple of hours to rake leaves for an elderly neighbor.
10. Grows you closer as a family. And, if you have more than one child, they grow closer together, too. Family night acts like super glue. Besides Scripture, you can play games together, make up skits or other fun activities. You spend time learning, growing, laughing, praying and playing together. It becomes a cherished part of your week — and your life.