One of the saddest conversations I sometimes have with teens and young adults is when they tell me they sinned for “fun” and now they are so enmeshed in it, they can’t see their way back to God. Obviously, they can and hopefully will find their way back, but the entire journey and its negative consequences (which can last for the rest of their lives) were unnecessary.
Want to keep your children away from that path, entirely? Teach them how to have fun in godly ways. The world has this view of Christians as Puritans on steroids – boring, humorless, drab, with a constant frown or sneer on their faces and worse. Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. You and your children can have fun and lots of it. Better yet, that fun rarely has negative consequences (omitting the occasional broken bone!) and in my personal experience godly fun is often less expensive and more fulfilling. (Plus you don’t wake up feeling horrible from all of that “fun” the next morning.)
I am the first to encourage parents to be consistent in their discipline, share God’s Words constantly and everything else that normally goes with the idea of Christian parenting. Take some time every day though, just to have fun with your kids.
That fun will vary from family to family and child to child. There are thousands, perhaps millions of options for fun things to do that don’t start pulling you or your kids away from God in the process. As your kids get older, encourage them to take the responsibility for finding fun things for your family to do together. When we travelled, our daughter became the best in the family at researching unique and fun things to see and do in our destination. (Try looking through “off the beaten path” ideas – they are often fun, inexpensive and unique.)
From time to time, talk with your older kids and teens about the worldly fun that often goes hand in hand with negative consequences and heartache. Share those possible consequences and why you think God doesn’t want them participating in those activities. Encourage them to take the lead when their friend group is looking for something to do and suggest activities that are fun, different, inexpensive and will open their friends eyes to the fun that can be had while living a Christian life. You will all be glad you took some time to work on this important “skill”!