The following article was written by our friend, Pastor Ryan Thompson of Newport Beach, CA. Ryan is being used of God to lead the Liberty Baptist Church during an exciting time in that ministry. He and his wife have five wonderful children and they are working to encourage other families in Orange County. This practical application of a well known Bible verse will be a help to all parents who have children at home this summer…

Parents, summer vacation is coming! How will our kids spend their summer — wisely or wastefully? Will it be filled with growing times or dominated by screen time?

A few years ago, we challenged our kids to wisely use “4 Hours a Day” for their summer.
Here’s what we meant by that. We sat down with our three oldest kids (ages 11, 13, and 15 at the time) to talk about their summer goals and plans. Then, we challenged their summer priorities and schedule based around Jesus’ maturation in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

We challenged them to spend at least one hour per day on each of these four areas of personal development:

1. Wisdom (mental)

This could be reading a book, studying a foreign language, working on a school subject, taking an online course, or learning about something interesting and profitable for them.

2. Stature (physical)

They needed to fill at least an hour with swimming, running, riding a bike, jumping on the trampoline, going for a hike, pushups, practicing sports, going to the park, etc.

It would be good for our kids to turn off the TV, put down the devices, and get outside and play! Physical play, outside of organized sports, is a seemingly lost art in this generation.

3. Favor with God (spiritual)

We encouraged them to spend time in their Bible, prayer, reading a devotional or missionary story, Bible memorization, serving at the church or any other activity that would benefit their relationship with God.

4. Favor with man (social/service)

We defined this daily time as doing something to serve their family members, help around the house, chores, serving a neighbor or developing a gift that will better prepare them for service, such as a musical instrument.

Every day, they had to record their daily activities in each of these areas. At the end of the summer, for every day that they invested at least one hour in each of these categories, we put $10 into their individual savings accounts.

It was fun to watch them proactively use their time wisely without being told, rather than wander around the house, whining, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do. I hate summer…” or worse, to watch them waste away on the couch, glued to their devices for weeks on end.

Parents, we have a responsibility to train our children for life. Life is a gift from God. How are we and our children stewarding this gift?

May I add that this wouldn’t be a bad challenge for all of us grown-ups to seek to spend time daily investing in these important areas as well!

Summer is coming. And, before we know it, it will be gone. How will we use it?

I encourage you to give it some thought and get an intentional plan for a profitable summer for every member of your family!

As one of our founding fathers, Ben Franklin, so wisely said, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time. For that is the stuff life is made of.”

Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey exists to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, encourage pastors and local churches, and equip believers to walk with God and serve Him each day. Through audio, video, and print resources we are seeking to preach the gospel, teach the Word of God, and reach this generation for Christ.

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