Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to Have and Absolutely Fantabulous Marriage in 10 Easy Steps—Have a Weekly Family Night

I'm currently typing this with my hubby asleep next to me on the couch. Its hard to type with my elbows bent backwards so I don't bump his head, but totally worth it so i can sit by him while I do this. Sorry that its been so long, new jobs, plus new callings in church, plus sickness, plus going out of town = not a lot of time to blog.

This time we're talking about having a family night! In our church every Monday night is the common time to do this, but another week night works, too. The point of having it on a week night is so that your family spends time together on a day other than Saturday or Sunday when its more likely to see each other (Or so I've been told. Saturdays were always crazy at my house growing up but that's ok. :)

Family night is all about bonding and growing closer together. Its a great time to go ove everything that will happen in the coming week, set and revisit goals, hold family council, and have lessons. Activities and treats are a great edition as well. Try to let everyone be involved from the baby to the teenager. Let your children help teach the lesson or choose an activity or help make the treats. Let everyone have a job of some kind. This is a wonderful way to invite the Lord's spirit into the home as well. The way you do family night is totally up to you, but here's what a typical family night in the Blake home looks like:

First we welcome everyone (all two of us) to family night and briefly go over the agenda (Who will pray, who will give the lesson, etc). Then we sing an opening hymn and say an invocation (opening prayer.) Next we do announcements. For example, I will be going into work early on Thursday or I have a concert and this is my call time. This way we can make more plans for the week and make sure we're available for each other when needed. Then we go over goals that we've had for the past week and either resolve to continue them or come up with new goals (or maybe both!) We've had goals anywhere from doing the dishes every night to trying to find a stranger to serve doing the week. Whatever you feel your needs are and areas you can improve in, those are the goals you can set. It helps to have someone else to support and remind you of your goals rather than keeping them to yourself and forgetting or losing motivation. After that we usually have a lesson. Sometimes we talk about finances, often we talk about gospel topics and how we can apply them in our lives. When we were kids our parents often had really interactive lessons where we would act out stories from the scriptures or learn about different things like etiquette or honesty. For activities we play board games or sports or do family history and have some kind of treat. Growing up home made rice crispy treats was a big one. Cam and I like to do many variations on popcorn. Before treats we have a closing prayer and bless the food.

Activities don't have to stay at home. You could go to the park, 

go for a hike, 

watch a sporting event, 

go on a scavenger hunt,

 anything you want! 

The only requirement is to do it with the family.

Even though we spend so much time together right now we're glad that we're getting in the habit of doing this while we have time because we know it will be harder when we have kids or harder jobs or more school or anything else. It has strengthened our little family so much already and we can't wait to see how it will continue to bless us in the future. Spencer W Kimball said "Family home evening is for everyone. It is for families with parents and children, for families with just one parent, and for parents who have no children at home. It is for home evening groups of single adults and for those who live alone or with roommates. . . . Regular participation in family home evening will develop increased personal worth, family unity, love for our fellow men, and trust in our Father in heaven."

Family Home Evening isn't only about coming closer together as a family, its also about coming closer to our Father in Heaven. Families are the center of his plan, and as we do our best to strengthen our families and marriages he will bless us with more success and joy than we ever could have thought possible. I know that he loves us and that he wants us to be happy: that is why he gave us families! There is no greater joy than to be with your family forever and he has given us that opportunity. I am so grateful for that!

Here's a wonderful talk about the importance of families, and some great resources for planning your own family night including lesson ideas!

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