Build Lasting Memories with Your Children

Build Lasting Memories with Your Children

Enjoy life with [those] whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun.
—Ecclesiastes 9:9

Another resolve that is critical to parenting without regrets is: “I will build lasting memories with my children.” You want your children to have great memories of the years they spent under your roof. Let me share the three Rs of making great memories with your children.

The first R is routine. Build routines into your family schedule. Maybe you eat a certain meal together. Maybe you have a routine with your kids at bedtime, such as reading a story from the Bible and praying with them. Or perhaps you set aside one night each week as family movie night. You know, I believe one reason God instituted so many routines in the Old Testament was to give His people a sense of security, especially during the years they were exiled from their homeland. Every family needs routine to give stability.

The second R stands for ritual. Every family should have some rituals—traditions that range from how you celebrate birthdays to what you do for the holidays. One ritual that can be healthy for your family is an annual family vacation. A vacation is a great opportunity for your family to concentrate on loving one another and listening to one another, away from the normal routines of life.

The third R of making memories with your kids is the ridiculous. While rituals and routines give stability, the ridiculous things you do with your kids provide excitement and spontaneity. Do something your kids don’t expect but will always remember. For example, when I was six my parents took me to Six Flags, and we spent the whole day riding rides and seeing shows. When we headed toward the gate to go home, my parents said, “Robert, we have a surprise for you. We are not going home. Instead, we are going to the airport to fly to New York City!” I was so excited. Looking back, I see their strategy: they wanted to tire me out all day so I would sleep on the airplane. But boy, what a neat surprise! By the way, you don’t have to be wealthy to create surprises for your kids. It can be as simple as waking up your kids for a surprise pajama-night ice cream cone at a drive-through.

In Ecclesiastes 9:9, Solomon says in effect, “You only have such a short time here on earth; why not devote your time and energy to enjoying the person who means the most to you in life?” This truth applies to spending time with your children. Why don’t you devote your time, energy, and resources to the people you love most? That is a key to parenting without regrets.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living without Parenting Regrets” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.