Perhaps it was ingrained into our minds during elementary school, but there is something about summertime that seems to change people’s thinking. Even adults seem to develop a kind of “recess mentality” that focuses on self and lets responsibility slide.
As a pastor, I’ve noticed that this summer pattern can become one of the “wiles [tricks] of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) that is used to cause lasting spiritual harm. Sometimes it is helpful in the middle of the summer to pause and evaluate, “Am I maintaining my walk with God?”
Below are five suggestions for enjoying a productive and pleasurable summer while at the same time maintaining your walk with the Lord and your family relationships.
1. Maintain a Schedule
Refuse to allow yourself to slip from what during the other months of the year are foundational parts of your life, such as church attendance, Bible reading, and family time. It’s amazing to me how easily these areas in particular slide through the summer.
If you have children or teenagers at home, encourage them to maintain a schedule of Bible reading and/or Scripture memory. Perhaps you could even offer a reward as they complete this schedule at the end of the summer (or for younger children, on a weekly basis).
Whatever changes your summer schedule may hold, be tenacious about giving priority to your relationship with the Lord and your faithfulness in church.
2. Make Memories
Take advantage of your children having time out of school and without homework to make memories as a family. If possible, take a family vacation—and bring a camera.
But even when not “on vacation,” you can make memories all summer long. Take your wife on a date, go to the park with your children, play games as a family. Strategically plan to spend time together nurturing and strengthening family relationships.
3. Keep Your Testimony
Summer can bring with it extra temptations. For instance, work parties and family reunions may include pressure to return to sinful habits or forsake the assembling of ourselves together as a church family.
Anticipate and be on guard against summer-time temptation. If you’ve already compromised or given in to temptation this summer, seek God’s forgiveness and ask for His help to finish your summer strong!
4. Find a Project
Here is an excellent opportunity to direct any surplus time and energy the summer brings! Additionally, this can double as making memories with your wife and children.
Find a project—something to learn, something to complete, a hobby to start—and set a goal for where you would like to be with it by the end of the summer.
Ask God to increase your fruitfulness for Him through the summer. Keep Gospel tracts handy (perhaps in your shirt pocket, your purse, or your car door), and give them out throughout the week. I find that when I am carrying tracts, I am more attentive to opportunities to inviting those I meet or do business with to church and sharing the Gospel with them.
Summertime provides some of the best opportunities for ministry and memories. Make your summer fruitful and memorable by being careful to maintain your walk with the Lord through the final weeks remaining!