So last night, we gather, like millions of Americans, to watch Super Bowl 50. It was a celebration of football at it highest caliber. We watched as the Denver Broncos, with quarterback Peyton Manning, took on the Carolina Panther, with quarterback Cam Newton. It was suppose to be a great battle, quarterback on quarterback, a crushing defense vs an fast paced, high-scoring offense. Well, I'm not sure it was the game of the century, but it came to an end with the Bronco on top, and now the new Super Bowl 50 Champions.
Today, as I think back over the last 24 hours, I'm noticing a few things about our Super Bowl habits and how watching the game as a family makes for some great memories. But more than creating memories, what can we teach our kids when the big game day rolls around.
1. We are a family who like to entertain.
- No, we're not clowns looking for an opportunity to perform before a captured audience. I mean, we like to entertain guest in our home. In other words, we love to exercise the gift of hospitality! And we always have. Even as a newly wedded couple, Amy and I have loved the opportunity to open up the doors of our home and lives to family and friends. Last night was just another wonderful opportunity to do that. We invited and welcomed a handful of students and the director of music and worship and his wife into the house for the game. It wasn't a large gathering. Nor was it a fancy gathering. We simply set out some of our favorite football foods and watched the game. No agenda. No planning needed. Just a football game and friends.
Why? Well, aside from loving to host gatherings like this, we want to teach our kids what it looks like to love and serve others. I think the sense of entitlement, or the "this is what I expect and what I deserve" mentality that many students and young adults exhibit, is eroding our idea of putting others first. When we make life all about ourselves, it creates for our kids a trap of prideful arrogance. But when we live to serve someone else, we practice the very things that Jesus lived and taught. This allows us to create in our kids a desire to want to serve others. We find great joy in knowing that we have been able to welcome someone into our home and make them as comfortable and as valued as possible. We want our children to experience that same joy, and thus live to serve others.
2. We are a family who thrives on relationships.
- We were not wired to be alone. This from the guy who is painful introverted and quite comfortable being alone. But even as an introvert, I need relationships. As a family, we need to be more than just the tightly weaved community that we are raising. We need the relationships of those around us; friends and co-workers and students from our ministry.
Last night we set up to game watching locations; one in our living room on the first floor, and the other in our family room on the lower level. Our guests had the freedom to choose where they wanted to sit and watch. And they were free to come and go as they pleased. What that created was an opportunity for all of our guests, but especially our kids, to mix and mingle. They were able to hang out with their friends and have fun. But they were also blessed with the opportunity to mingle and talk with other adults.
For us, relationships are extremely important. Amy and I still talk about our dear "small group" friends that we shared a season with while in Somerset. That time with them proved to be a season of growth and encouragement for our family. We found real friends, who cared deeply for Amy and I, and our family. And to this day, we look forward to seeing them and spending time with them. We want our kids to know those same, tender relationships. So being able to welcome both students and adults into our home and creating the opportunity for both to build relationships is pretty sweet.
3. These are great family moments.
- The older our kids get, the more cherished and valuable our time with them becomes. Over the last couple of years, Amy and I have really worked hard to create more moments for memories. Whether it's in a trip, a special outing, a dinner, or just sitting around the table playing a board games, we want to create moments for memories.
This idea stems for a conversation we had a couple of years back. We wondered what our kids would talk about when they were in the 40's and 50's? Would they be able to look back and laugh at the goofy things we've done? Would they remember special birthdays or moments from the past with great fondness and tears? Till that point, we weren't sure we were creating life-long memories. So we committed to being better at creating family memories that we would one day laugh about.
Now this isn't about developing scripted activities that turn in to 30 minute sitcom-like programs that we could re-run sometime in the future. We just simply felt that we needed to be a little more proactive in doing things as a family. Honestly, just sitting around the dinner table with all 5 kids in attendance can lead to tear-filled eyes and gut wrenching belly laughs. But taking something like a sporting event and creating an opportunity where we can sit down as a family with friends, have a few good laughs, and eat some delicious food is something that we just can't pass up.
Our hopes in the years to come isn't that they remember Super Bowl 50, or who won, or the final score, or the half-time show, or even the commercials. Our hope is that some day we'll be sitting around a holiday meal table, and someone all of a sudden brings up, "Hey, do you remember the night when..." followed by uncontrollable laughter. I hope we are teaching our kids the important gifts of hospitality, deep relationships, and time well spent.
- the higham family
Hi we're Jay & Amy, and we've been married for 19 years and are super blessed to be busy raising our 5 kids; 4 boys and 1 girl! We juggle the adventures of life and ministry and share what we are learning as it relates to marriage, family, raising kids, serving in the church, and chasing after Jesus. Raising a family is hard work, especially in today's culture. But our hope is to encourage you and your family, as we live for the glory of God.
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