If you were to evaluate our family, listen in on our conversations and observe our schedule, the likelihood is high you would surmise that we place a high value on rhythm.
Since our kids were born we developed a schedule and have assertively protected it through the years. As the kids have gotten older, the rhythms of our family life have evolved out of necessity. Nevertheless, we have always maintained a strong cadence and pace. Everything in our family begins with the end of the day.
A consistent bedtime empowers the next day on the calendar.
The morning routine is almost exact each morning.
The after school patterns are regular.
This goes all the way to when my son eats his pre-bed popcorn, and whom handles getting the kids showered. While there are some deviations from the routines, for the most part our Mondays through Fridays are homogeneous.
For some, this may seem monotonous, boring, unimaginative or lacking in spontaneity. For us, this rhythm creates the framework for consistent, dependable development…physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is this rhythm, which creates room for a consistency in engaging our kids spiritually.
As a husband and a dad, I can’t say I am 100% certain I am getting it right. Like most parents, my flesh has a way of creeping to the surface and at times the fruit of the Spirit seems to be a little rotten. However, our rhythm has allowed me to establish an institution in our home.
Nightly I lie in bed with each of my children, and I take time speaking to who they are, declaring prophetically, praying over them and allowing them to pray.
In recent weeks I started reading through the Gospel of Luke to them before bed (I chose Luke so we could move into Acts later). These moments are not dramatic nor are they emotional…they are consistent. Rarely does something happen in these moments that is social media worthy…they are special not because of extravagance but because they are tradition.
My kids expect it. They ask for it. They crave it.
All of this is done within about 15 minutes. All of it made possible by our consistency. We aren’t rushing them to bed because we are chronically behind schedule, so I have time to engage their hearts with Jesus.
Michelle and I believe these routine moments are invaluable in the
turning of our kids’ hearts toward the things of God. On occasion it has
required that we exclude ourselves from some fun.
Rhythm demands that I say “no” to some opportunities and people from time to time. Consistency insists that we become mature enough to embrace some monotony. Pace necessitates that we be disciplined enough to run our schedule and not the other way around.
I’m sure there have been moments when other parents were silently critical, thinking we were uptight parents. As I recline next to my kids,
breathe in the same air and talk about Jesus…I can’t find anything that I’m
missing out on.