If your family is like millions of others, attending church doesn’t do much to promote a healthier, more loving relationship. The morning churchgoing ritual typically involves such stresses as fighting over the bathroom, bullying a family member who’s making everyone late, and harsh sibling bickering. Then, once your stressed and war-torn family miraculously makes its way to church in one piece, you’re divided up by a churchy whirlwind. Rather than enjoying an activity together, one family member attends a youth group activity, another goes to Sunday school, and yet another to choir rehearsal. Your family most likely doesn’t even sit together in the church service.
Life causes enough stress and separation throughout the week as it is. This Sunday, why not skip church and do something to strengthen your family’s bond rather than weaken it? Here are 10 Sunday morning suggestions for turning over a beautiful new leaf for your family:
1. Take your kids for a walk. As you walk, get to now them. Talk about what makes them happy, what makes them sad, what they want to do when they grow up, and anything else that helps you really get to know them.
2. Make everybody in your family breakfast in bed. Sounds better than stressing, arguing, and rushing each other to shoot out the door as fast as possible, right? Imagine a loving morning of relaxation, coffee, bacon and toast. (Sigh… Is it Sunday morning yet?)
3. Cook together. Another wonderful way to strengthen the family bond is for everybody to cook breakfast or brunch together. This is also a perfect time to teach your family how to cook, or to get creative and explore new cooking styles. After enjoying the meal as a family, everyone can even clean up together to display unity and togetherness.
4. Explore new music together. If you’ve got WiFi, you’ve got Spotify, You Tube, iTunes, etc! Why not brew some morning coffee and gather everyone for a time of exploration? Few things are as fun or inspiring as discovering the world of classical music, jazz, or even the countless types of electronic music springing to life today. Discovering each other’s music tastes is also an excellent way to get to know one another more closely!
5. Laugh together. With work, school, and extracurricular activities, the week is filled with enough stress to give a hardened drill sergeant a nervous breakdown. So spend time as a family releasing that stress by laughing to funny You Tube videos, silly 80’s movies, or anything else that gets everyone ROTFL.
6. Camp together. Spend the weekend in a tent. Then, on Sunday morning, wake up slowly and softly to the rising sun and the beautiful sounds of birds and breezes. Don’t start packing up to go back home until later. For now, while it’s still morning, just enjoy the peace of nature together as a family.
7. Start a family blog. If only more families would come together more often to do this. How fun and exciting it is to blog about your family’s favorite movies, new recipes you’ve tried, post funny and touching pictures, explain the back stories about inside jokes… the possibilities are endless!
8. Improve your family’s health with a sleep-in contest. Sometimes, nothing is more blissful than sleep. Sleep is also, of course, good for your health and wellbeing. With all the stress that’s about to slap your family in the face come Monday morning, what could be better than encouraging everyone to sleep until 9:00, 10:00, or even 11:00 a.m.? Make it a contest. Whoever sleeps the longest gets a special prize.
9. Make art together and hang it in your home. It doesn’t cost much to grab some canvases and some paint supplies. Every family member can paint, doodle, scribble, or whatever makes their heart feel good. No matter how abstract the outcome may be, choose an area in your home to display the paintings for every guest to see!
10. Plant a garden together. Whether you prefer flowers or vegetables, nothing brings families closer together quite like the joys of gardening. Take a family vote as to what all should be planted. Then shop for the items together, and plant away!
What other activities are healthier for your family than going to church? Share your thoughts in the comments!