We celebrated our first family day in Ontario today…a celebration, our premier says, of family, because families need more time together.  Good idea.

So what does your family do to stay together, to foster family life and a journey that points kids in the right direction? We’re at the stage where racking up the mileage on the car is not hard…hockey rules, and right now we’re all over the place in playoffs.  Beyond that and work, there’s not a lot of time left.  So how do we leverage that time?   Because time is the key to relationship, and relationship is the key to life in Christ (it’s all about a relationship!)  To me, as the kids get older, the key is not just praying together or reading the Bible together (that’s important and necessary), but opening a dialogue about faith and life that runs through life. That can be a lot trickier.

Personally, I find conversations about God and life happen best in the flow of every day life. Here’s what we do to try to track together at this stage in life (my boys are 16 and 12):

  • We eat dinner together almost every night.  Very important. With my BBQ busted, I’m loving it when Toni brings out the crockpot in the morning.  Ribs rock.
  • We serve together Sundays at Connexus.
  • We listen to music together, and let the kids drive the playlist.  Beats four people living together 24/7 with four iPods running and four soundtracks. 
  • I let my 16 year old drive wherever he’s legally allowed to.  That gives us time together.
  • I pull each son out of school once a term and do something with him for fun.
  • I’m reading through Daniel with Sam (aged 12).  Great story about a young man, God, and integrity.
  • We play board games, watch movies and read in the same space.
  • I’m trying not to work to hard. 
  • We try to do several shorter vacations together each year.

Pretty normal, unimaginative stuff, but the key to relationship is time.

What things do you do with your family?  What helps you keep communication and God-opportunities wide open?


  1. Chuck on January 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    We do most of the things you bullet up there. (My kid’s too young to drive or get pulled out of school….). But if I may contribute one that’s not on your list, here goes. Even though Ben’s only 3, we cook together often as a whole family, or at least one of us parents (of course). This morning we made donuts (cronuts,actually) from scratch. And Ben helped by using the juicer to squeeze the fresh OJ himself.

  2. Carey Nieuwhof on February 19, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Hey Gen and Dave…you raise a good point. You folks are part of our Orillia campus, so next week you are going to hear Shauna Simmonds, who will be talking about reaching under 30s, emphatically say that her generation needs older adults (hey, I'm over 40!) to teach their generation and build authentic relationships with them. That's part of the Authentic series we start in Orillia next weekend. You can preview the message this week on line on the Connexus site if you want. Far from being left behind, we need every generation to be directly involved in reaching the next generation. This is their "golden" days, and we need each other. So you're right on!

  3. Dave and Gen on February 19, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Building relationships is so exciting, expecially being retired.. but we say to seniors, do NOT wait until retirement…We have always had fun with our family, but in these precious (golden) years it is rewarding.. we are learning how to value every minute, the little things in life..loving and encouraging family plus others, taking the time to share Jesus . To build relaltionships and community, we need to build with the tools Christ gives to us, not tear down the walls.It is not always easy for some oldies to keep up the fast pace of Connexus, but we thank God for you, Carey and all the wonderful family of friends we are a part of at Connexus..We don't want to get left behind..

  4. Tina Harkey on February 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I cook with my daughter (she loves to cook). My mom didn't teach me how so I hope her future husband appreciates the time I'm spending with her. We cuddle up together and watch American Idol (she loves the show). We shop together and we pick a book and I read it to her at bedtime. The book we are reading now is by Scott O'Dell and it is about Christians and Muslims, slaves and slave trading and Caribbean Islands. Gave us an opportunity to have a great conversation last night.

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