We just came back from vacation from Myrtle Beach. We celebrated Father’s day during our time away, and it gave me some opportunities to fish. I grew up fishing, and it was a powerful connection that I shared with my dad and both of my grandfathers. During those outings, I learned many lessons about life and what it was to be Christian and a man while fishing on the banks of the creek or in a boat.
Now, I can pass this tradition on to my children and wife. It is something we all love to do (at least for them when the fish are biting). Fishing for us represents something important for all families. A time of family fellowship, impartation, and alignment. You might have something similar or several activities. Rituals and traditions are important for healthy families. Daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and life event traditions are powerful and symbolic in the development of a child and for the identity of a family. What do you do that fills these three vital areas for your family time together?
Psalm 127 and 128 both talk about the importance of home and family. Fellowship is seen firmly in Psalm 128:3, “thy children like olive plants round about thy table.” It is important that we spend time together as families, and the dinner table is a central area. There are other ways to spend time together as well. The important thing is to communicate, and this might mean putting down the phone and tablets, turning off the TV and video games, and talk to each other.
When I am fishing with my children, there is an excellent opportunity to teach them about nature and hopefully, impart some wisdom about life. I can do the same when changing the oil on my car, reading books, walking the mall, and so forth. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is a strong reminder to parents to teach our children the Word of God. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed to take every moment as a teaching moment about God. Help them see Jesus’s hand in all things.
Family traditions and rituals help bring an identity to families. Our personal identity and family identity ultimately should be integrated into Christ. It is a beautiful thing if our traditions and rituals help us focus on Christ. As Joshua exclaimed, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). Do we honor God with our family traditions and rituals? Do they provide for fellowship and help us to not only align with our family but also with Christ?