By Janet Earle, Children's Minister
Posted on February 9, 2017
Family Day arrived a bit late for me. We had three teenagers in 2008 when Ontario’s first Family Day was observed. It didn’t have a chance to be woven into the fabric of our family traditions before my children left home for their own adventures.
Many people take the opportunity of this long weekend to travel or do something special. It might be a visit to grandparents, a trip to the ski hill, or going on that outing there never seems to be enough time to do. It’s a chance to be your family, in your way, together.
I realize in hindsight how important these times are for a family. No matter how big or small the family, or how big or small the budget, spending special time together is vital. The time you take when your children are small can set the tone for the years that follow.
Families are not an accident or random gathering of people. They are part of God’s design – a place of nurture and protection for children, and of purpose and leadership for adults. Families have the potential to accomplish great things as they develop relationships and nurture their children.
When the great summary of the law is given in Deuteronomy 6, the commands to, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength," (Deut 6:5) are followed immediately by an instruction to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to them. How can we do this? Study? Prayer? Care for the poor? Those are of great value, of course. But what we are told is to pass these precious decrees on to our children: "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (Deut 6:6-7)
We love to play with Play-Doh in Children’s Ministry. It feels lovely and squishy in our hands as we shape it. Even our little ones in the Nursery can enjoy creating shapes with it. It yields to the smallest of fingers. By our touch the Play-Doh is transformed.
As parents, we are called to ‘impress’ this great law on our children. We are called to tenderly shape and gently lead them, to show them what it means to have the ‘Love of God’ on our hearts. It is meant to be a continual activity.
Family Day is a little break in the middle of our winter. I pray you will have the opportunity for some special time with your family. I hope if you are with your children or your grandchildren on Family Day, at your home, walking along a road somewhere or perhaps taking a nap together, you might share a bit of how you love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength.
Enjoy your special time together!