Growing up, I couldn’t wait for summer to come around. No school. Day camps. Sleeping in. Swimming. TV. Movies. It was a blast!
As a parent, summer has a very different feel. On top of the normal, day-to-day responsibilities of work and home, there’s the stress of figuring out what the kids are going to do now that school’s out, dealing with the heat, and managing the pressure to have the perfect vacation . A recent study confirms what many parents are feeling: summer can be exhausting.
As parents, what can we do to deal with summer stress?
In Leviticus 23 (NLT) the Lord gives the nation of Israel a set of instructions on the festivals they were to celebrate. There are four principles from these celebrations you can apply in your life and family that will help you create a summer both you AND your kids will love. Here they are:
1. Connect to Church.
“…On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.” – vs 8
Sign your kids up for VBS. Encourage your students to go to summer camp. Attend services on the weekend. Staying connected to church will help your family stay connected to godly influences for you and your children.. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
2. Sacrifice to Serve.
“When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you…” – vs 22
Summer is an excellent time to serve in your church, go on a week-long missions trip, or volunteer in your community. Serving together is a great way to strengthen the relationships in your family. It also gives your children something positive to do with their free-time. Proverbs 11:25 (NLT) says, “…Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
3. Focus on Fun.
“This will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you…” – vs 32
Don’t worry about having the perfect vacation or filling up every minute of your kids day. Focus on having fun. Fun can be a day at the pool or beach, playing a board game, going to the movies, or simply tossing the ball around in the backyard. Fun is also letting your kids figure out something creative and enjoyable to do on their own while you work on the everyday responsibilities that are a part of being an adult.
4. Celebrate Christ.
“…Celebrate with joy before the Lord your God…” – vs 40
Listen to worship music on the road and at home. Sing praise songs to God. Do a family devotional together. Make a list of things you’re grateful for as a family and spend time praying together and thanking God for what’s on your list.
Summer is great as a kid, but it’s not always easy when you have kids. If you want to have a less stressful and more restful summer connect to church, sacrifice to serve, focus on fun, and celebrate Christ. Using these principle will not only make summer better for your kids, but it will make you better at summer with your kids.
Question: Of the four principles listed above, what’s the one you want to work on most with your family this summer? Leave a comment by clicking here.