How Routines Build A Family Culture

christian family stewardship stewardship of family Jan 09, 2023
Routines Build A Family Culture

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.”

LUKE 4:16


 

Introduction

Did you know that families have a culture? Whether they intend to or not, each family develops a specific one in their home through their daily rhythms, practices, and habits. Knowing that culture will develop around our lives gives us an opportunity to be intentional with the choices we make and the routines we establish that will build this culture day by day. Personally, we continually find ourselves refining our rhythms and habits to make sure that they are enforcing our family values. There isn’t one right way to do this and it certainly won’t ever be “just perfect.” But having good practices and habits in place that you regularly revisit and adjust can help ensure that your family culture is one that you want to be building. In our home, we have several different routines that we would like to share with you.

Morning Routine

Each morning, the kids get big hugs from both of us as soon as they get up. We also listen to the Time of Grace video devotion and reread our Family Vision Statement out loud together, as well as our family values. Derek gives consistent, positive encouragement to each of the kids before he heads off to work, and the kids do their personal care habits: making beds, brushing teeth, and putting laundry in the hamper after changing into clothes. Once this is done, everyone prepares their own breakfast.

Homeschool Routine

Once our morning routine is finished, we settle into our homeschool routine. Each day begins with a devotional and Bible study. The kids all work on their core subjects individually (reading, spelling, math), before transitioning into our group work and read aloud time.

Lunch Routine

Our lunch routine rounds out the morning hours. The kids assist in preparing our meal and we eat together after praying. We have a short devotional after lunch, everyone pitches in to clean up, and then the kids are officially on “free time.” Derek arrives home in the evening and usually takes a short rest before joining the family for supper.

Supper Routine

Suppertime is when our family is officially all back together again. We begin with a prayer to bless the meal, and then we eat! While we enjoy our food, everyone shares three things around the table: their favorite thing that happened during the day, the hardest part of the day, and a blessing of the day. We discuss our plans for the evening and any special events coming up on our calendar. We end supper with a devotional and a song, and then Derek and Amy go out for a short walk.

Bedtime Routine

Our bedtime routine can vary from day to day. Usually we do a bedtime story or devotional together, and watch a fun song video on youtube. Derek also has some special time with the kids each night, two at a time. He watches a Saddleback Kids video with them, prays for bed, recites their birthday Bible verses, reviews their catechism, and recites the Lord’s Prayer. He does this with Cole and Lily, and then Leah and Lexi. Three days a week, he also reads a Christian book with our oldest two for additional discipleship.

Amy’s routine with the kids is simple. Starting with Lily, she reads individually with each child. Lily and Lexi each get to read one picture book or a chapter of a book, and one Bible story. Leah gets to read one chapter of a book and one chapter of the Bible. And Cole reads a few pages of literature and one section of a Bible study book.

After the kids are tucked into bed, we check in with each other as adults. We read a devotion, review our family vision, pray, go over our schedule for the week, and then discuss any urgent family issues we are sorting through.

Other Routines

Some routines of our family life don’t occur on a daily basis, but they’re still an important part of our family culture. Here are some of our most beloved weekly and yearly events:

Weekly Routines

Tuesday nights – Derek does one-on-one dinners with one of the kids (this ends up being once per child per month).

Wednesdays – We attend gymnastics and piano lessons.

“Fun Fridays” – We invite another family over for dinner.

Saturdays – We watch a longer Time of Grace video devotion with a prayer and a hymn.

Sundays – We attend our church service in the morning, eat out at a restaurant for lunch, and have our Family Meeting at supper.

Yearly Routines

Birthday and Half-Birthday Trips – Each child goes on a special trip with Derek near their birthday and half-birthday.

Family Volunteer Trips – We have written about these experiences extensively on our blog. Please check out our previous blog posts to learn more! 

Baptism celebrations – We light a candle, sing a hymn, and say a prayer.

Other travels – We prioritize trips that are consistent with our values, especially in the areas of philanthropy, education, family, and friends.

Travel

For many people, travel simply means that there is no consistency or routine in their schedule at all! For our family, we strive to maintain as much predictability as possible when we’re away from home. When we return to our favorite places, we use the same accommodations each time. If we have to rent a vehicle, we try to choose something close to what we usually drive.

Mornings are often the same everywhere because everyone needs to sleep. When we travel, our morning routine is very similar to how it is when we’re home. We wake up around the same time, listen to positive morning affirmations, watch a Time of Grace devotional, sing a hymn, pray, and take a family walk.

In the evenings, we have a similar bedtime ritual that strongly reflects our nights at home, including the time we turn the lights out. If we are traveling over a weekend, we watch Time of Grace or attend a nearby service.

The Beauty of Reinforcement

Our family routines are always adjusted based on the ages of our children. Our daily life today looks very different than it did five years ago, when everyone was much smaller. This is why it is important to regularly reevaluate and revise your routines. If habits that once helped you have become burdensome, it’s an excellent time to shake things up and change. Intentionality is key to building a healthy, thriving family culture.

Conclusion

Family routines are vital when it comes to reinforcing your family values and culture. It is important that both spouses are onboard with the habits and practices that your family puts into place and that they are well thought out and intentional. Feel free to review and modify as needed as you progress on your family’s journey. A rich family culture can be an incredible blessing to your marriage, your children, and the community around you.

Key Points

  • Every family has routines, but you should evaluate your own to ensure that they are consistent with your family values.
  • Consistency with routines is important, even when traveling.
  • Family routines can and should be modified on a regular basis with input from the husband and the wife (and also the children when appropriate).

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