How you spend your time communicates what you value. Seemingly small daily habits and pursuits are speaking louder than you realize. They have the power to propel you further into who you want to be. Because this is true, you have an opportunity (actually lots of little daily opportunities) to steer your family in any direction you choose. Family engagement can be attained by being intentional in your daily rhythms and routines. Family rhythms slowly but steadily shape who your family becomes because of the values they repeatedly communicate to each member of your family.
One of my favorite things about family rhythms is how little work and planning they take. What you choose to do with your family may look different than what other families do. The key is to choose rhythms that will infuse joy into your family. Choosing family rhythms that bring your family joy is like a long-term investment that can establish trust and connection in the heart of your family. Establishing rhythms takes consistency; but when done well, rhythms are life-giving and extremely rewarding. Here are five values we communicate through family engagement and how they have been helping to shape us for the better.
A rhythm we partake in that propels us into better health is taking bike rides together. It not only gets our blood circulating, but getting outside together is great for our mental health, too. If biking isn’t your thing, taking a walk together is also a great way to stay healthy. By getting active together, you can stir up family engagement through chatting simultaneously as you communicate that you value health.
Playing a game with our kids is exactly how to speak their language—FUN! This rhythm brings so much laughter into our home. It has also been the catalyst for many conversations about losing well and winning well. I love to hear my kids encouraging one another not to give up when the game isn’t going their way. Having a family game night is a guaranteed way to learn to laugh with one another and not take ourselves too seriously.
To communicate our value for faith, we attend a weekly church service. Our family has gained a wonderful community rallying around us and challenging us to grow in spiritual health. If you’re interested but feeling a little nervous about it, take courage. Many churches have a “come as you are” mentality. They will welcome your family with open arms. It might take a few visits to find the right one, but if faith is something you want for your family, attending church is a great place to start.
We have found that the dining table is a great place for connecting with one another. We sit around and enjoy a meal together, have conversation together, and laugh together. When our children were young, the table often felt like a battleground, but I am glad we stuck with it. As our kids have gotten older, they have placed a huge value on sitting around the table together, too. If one of us is missing, the rest of us feel it because of the missing connection.
Over the past two years, our family has been intentional in finding rest together. We take a day and commit to no commitments. It isn’t a hard and fast rule, but we use Saturdays to enjoy the blessing of being with one another. On Saturdays, we intentionally choose gratitude for the small things. We live in a culture that is so busy hustling all the time, so it’s been important for our family to make time to slow down from all the doing and just enjoy being.
Every time we engage in family rhythms, it’s like we are adding another string to a cord that becomes unbreakable. Our family bond is stronger because of it. Our kids may not remember all the things we did or said, but they will never forget the value we placed on our family each day. Start a new rhythm today, remain consistent with it, and watch how it begins to shape your family over time.
What are some family rhythms you have or would like to start for your family?