Our childhoods are marked and made by memories. Hardly any of us truly remember the day to day grind of our six year old selves, but we do remember the first day of school. We have a hard time thinking about the instruction we received from our parents everyday, but we can remember the times that we got in big trouble because we didn't listen. Our piecemeal memories are what make up the childhood that has shaped us.
As Parents, we need to understand that we have constant opportunities to create these lasting memories. If we are diligent and intentional, the moments that our children remember can be beautiful memories fill with love, joy and faith.
One thing that each of our parents can tell us well is that we only have a limited amount of time to create memories with our children. We all grow up, and eventually begin a family of our own.
Since our time is limited, we should be intentional. Creating the right lifelong memories takes effort and planning. Think about the type of memories you want your children to have, then plan and make time for those memories to take place. Make the most of the time that you have with your children.
As Christian parents our hope should be to faithfully lead our children to the knowledge of God and call them to Jesus as their Savior. When we are intentional to create memories we can center them around our faith in our loving and caring God. Always make time for conversations, events and moments that can have an eternal impact in the memories of your Children.
One way to be intentional and give your family opportunities to create genuine, faith-filled memories is to plan a yearly family retreat. Many churches offer these types of events, in fact our church has a retreat just around the corner. If your church offers a family retreat, take advantage of it (If not, plan one of your own). Set aside a weekend or longer to intentionally pour into your children.
There are several ways to make the most of a yearly family retreat.
Look back on the past year and evaluate the state of your family.
Shape the retreat into an event to promote closeness as a family.
Minimize distractions (for parents and children) and give each other your attention.
Be consistent so that your family can anticipate the yearly retreat
Plan to learn on your retreat. Learn about God together, learn about each other and learn how to encourage each other to deeper and stronger faith.
Take time away from your busy life and show that your family is a priority.
Family retreats can be an intentional discipleship strategy that will give you and your family an opportunity seek God together and build each other up in faith and love.
Start simple, be faithful and pray for your family as you plan.