Recently my oldest son turned three years old. Part of his becoming a “big boy” was that we would no longer be giving him a pacifier when he went to bed. My wife and I knew that this would be a difficult transition for him and braced ourselves for that first bedtime routine without his pacifier. Thus began our new 45 minute-long bedtime routine of going to the bathroom multiple times, getting milk, reading books, praying, and convincing him that he was old enough to fall asleep on his own. This got me thinking of how I as a father and we as a family can reclaim some of this bedtime routine to make it more about Jesus.
Prayer has been a staple of bedtime routines for most families, including mine. In his article, “Two Bedtime Prayers for Weary Parents”, Chad Ashby outlines some quick prayers that parents can say to keep Jesus the focus of bedtime. I appreciated his heart for helping both parents and their children think and pray through the Gospel even during potentially chaotic bedtime routines.
David Willis writes that a great way to make bedtime the best part of your family’s day is to spend time encouraging one another before turning out the lights. I love the idea of spending time in quiet conversation to build one another up before calling it a day. This not only helps to reclaim bedtime, but strengthens our family’s communication and helps set a tone of love and encouragement that will carry over into other aspects of life. Check out his blog “How to Make ‘Bedtime’ the Best Part of Your Family’s Day”.
What about your family? What have you done to reclaim your bedtime?