It’s Sunday. You have done the best thing for your kids and made sure they attended worship and Bible class. What happens next? Your answer could add value to the faith building and strengthening benefits your kids can get from spending time with their church family worshipping God and learning more about Him.
If your kids are like me, the first thing on my mind after church is lunch! And that’s natural. So what are you talking about when you have that lunch? Are you critiquing the sermon? Venting about someone or something that frustrated you? Is your conversation primarily critical and negative?
Or do you immediately switch back to the secular world? Are you talking about movies, activities or politics? Are you discussing the things you are going to buy for yourselves? Making plans to have fun with friends?
It’s not that you can never disagree with a theological point in a sermon. Or that you can’t make plans for the week or errands you have to run. It’s just that there may be a better, more intentional way to spend that family time together. Time that can extend the Bible lessons your kids heard. Time that could be used to help them make plans to use what they learned God wanted them to do in their lives in the coming week.
There are other ways to spend that time at lunch together that will also encourage your kids to grow spiritually. Maybe your family can spend that time discussing your interactions with various people and decide how your family can serve some of those people in the coming week. Or perhaps you need to spend some of the time explaining something that was taught, said or done to make sure they understand and know what God wants them to learn from it.
Unfortunately, there may be times when you also need to explain something that was said or done that was not scriptural, biblical or the way God would want things to happen. Avoiding these important conversations can leave your kids thinking that those things were acceptable and this misunderstanding could become a stumbling block for their faith in the future. Obviously, these are delicate conversations that should be had in age appropriate ways, but even young children can sense when there is a lot of tension in an environment. They can also misunderstand things they overhear and need clarification from you.
Finally, your kids may have questions or doubts that occurred to them at any point during the day. Giving them a safe and consistent place and time to have these conversations can ensure they get biblical answers to them – rather than those the world may propose later.
Sunday lunch is a wonderful way to spend time together after church. Using it intentionally could also help strengthen your kids’ faith.