I have a dear friend who is awesome at having Family Home Evening. She is excellent at making the Gospel, and especially temple covenants, the center of their home and lives. She inspires me. I see her adult children honoring their promises to God and want that for my children too. She makes me think of the Hymn,
2. “What greater gift dost thou bestow,What greater goodness can we knowThan Christlike friends, whose gentle waysStrengthen our faith, enrich our days.”
- (Hymn “Each life that touches ours for good”)
Through her example, and in prayer, I set a goal to become awesome at holding Monday night Family Home Evening. This is a time for us to spend formal (purposeful?) time together as a family, learning about Jesus Christ, and having fun together.
It is a work in progress, and probably always will be, but I love the joy that it has brought to our home.
One thing that has made a difference for us is when I take time to sit down on Sunday with each of our children to help them plan their assignments. We decide on a treat, choose an activity, and select lessons from the Friend magazine or from papers they bring home from church. They practice what they are going to say in advance.
As my kids are young, we try to make lessons short, sweet, and age-appropriate.
In a recent worldwide leadership training from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (within the last 5 years) Julie B. Beck was in a round table discussion with Elder Oaks and some others. In it, she told a story of a time she was talking to a young mother about family scripture study. The young woman told Sister Beck that they were trying to have 10 minutes of scriptures every night, but that her children were wiggling and not paying much attention. (Sounds very familiar to me!) Sister Beck said something like “Well, considering your audience, I’d say that it is about nine minutes too long.”
I remember feeling inspired by this humor. It gave me hope. I thought “I can do 1 minute!” We CAN do scripture study with our small children! And we can make it age-appropriate and meaningful to them. And the same thing applies to Family Night.
Yesterday my 3-year-old gave a lesson on how to prepare to go to the temple. She had a paper she colored at church on Sunday with graphics depicting people keeping various commandments. She showed the paper and listed the things. My 6-year old chose to do a “scooter show” on the driveway. Stan squirted a figure 8 with water on the driveway and they tracked it with their scooters. We had fun! It was simple, and my kids are becoming Gospel learners. I am grateful for the commandment to have Family Home Evening and can see the blessings it brings to our family.