Throughout Scripture, Jesus uses family terminology to describe our relationship with him and with other Christians. He calls his followers children of God and his beloved brothers and sisters. 
Because families are so important to Jesus, he offers instructions for how loved ones should live:

Forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.

Matthew 18:35

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.

Romans 12:10

Family is one of our most special blessings from God, yet maintaining God-honouring relationships with family members can be challenging at times. Squabbles may turn into blowups, often involving unkind words and leading to hurt feelings. Jesus’ earthly life and ministry provide great examples of how we are to treat family members. Jesus showed us the importance of humility, servanthood, honesty, kindness, and peacemaking. He also emphasized that no one—not even our family members—should be more important to us than God is.  
Jesus nurtured others through compassion and invested deeply in people who later changed the world. Our homes can be places where children are turned on to faith through the power of loving relationships with family members of all ages.  
God calls parents to the role of primary faith influencer for their children, so the Christian home is the epicenter for spiritual growth.

Bring [your children] up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

Yet the final goal isn’t a generation of well-trained children; if your kids stand beside you in heaven, they won’t do so as your children but as your sisters and brothers in God’s family. That’s why sharing and living out the gospel at home is just the beginning. The goal is for God’s love and truth to be revealed to all people so they, too, can join God’s family. 
Here are some meaningful activities you can try with your own family:
Some More Kindness | Make s’mores (outside, if possible). While enjoying the snack, share times you’ve done “some more”—a kind act—for someone, or how a person reached out to do “some more” for you. Read aloud Galatians 5:13-14. Ask: “Why does God want us to do some more for others? What might that look like in our home?”  
A Winning Attitude | Play Tug-of-War or arm wrestle. Ask: “What are some ways we compete with family members?” Read aloud Genesis 4:1-12. Ask: “What feelings did Cain and Abel have toward God? toward each other? How could Cain have handled his anger better? How can we handle anger toward family members?” 
A-Mazing Focus | On the back of eight paper plates, lightly write “no.” On the back of eight more, write “yes.” Mix up plates and place them writing-side down in a 4X4 grid on the floor. Take turns trying to go through the maze by flipping over a plate. If it’s a yes, step on it and try to find another yes. If it’s a no, go back to the end of the line and turn all the plates back over. You can give each other non-verbal clues to achieve the goal. Find all eight yes plates so others can step on them in the same pattern to finally get through the maze. Read Philippians 3:17. Ask: “Why was teamwork so important for this task? What are ways we can help each other find—and stay on—the right path to follow God?” 
Ultra Strong | For each person, you’ll needa six-foot strip of toilet paper. Sit in a circle and quickly weave the strips over and under each other to form a rug. Make sure it’s sturdy by gently waving it in the air. Time the task and then try again, even faster. Afterwards, ask: “How was working on this rug like being part of a family? What can tear a family apart? What makes a family strong?” Read aloud Ephesians 3:14-16. Pray, asking God to give strength to individual family members and to your family as a unit.  
Super & Soaked | Outside, make a shaving cream “hat” on someone (or on an inflated balloon). Take turns using a water-filled spray bottle to squirt away the foam. Before each turn, the sprayer must say one instruction or advice they’ve heard from a parent. Afterwards, read aloud Proverbs 1:8. Ask: “Why does God want us to listen to our parents? What can make that easy or hard to do? What instructions does God give us? Why is it important to obey those?”  
ASK JESUS:
  1. To help your family make Jesus its top priority.
  2. To remind your family members to demonstrate Jesus’ love to one another.
  3. To continually grow the faith of each of your family members.
 

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About the Author: stephanie holmberg

Stephanie is a wife, mother, pastor, and friend who is passionate about seeing people live authentic, purpose-filled lives. When not working alongside her amazing kidmin team, you will find her at home spending time with her family, snuggling her furry friend Milo, or out exploring all the amazing places Edmonton has to offer.