For several years now we have Friday night movie and pizza. I must admit it didn’t start out with noble beginnings – my thinking was I am so tired by Friday night what can we do that gets me out of talking to the kids? Ahhh a movie!! So the tradition was born: Friday night Pizza and movies.

But we have recently started a new tradition for Sunday night. The idea is that we watch a “thinking DVD” – something that will encourage thought and conversation.

So our Sunday afternoons go like this:

  • 4.00pm chores (not sure how the house gets to be such a mess when all we’ve done is rested all afternoon!!) and showers
  • 5.00pm DVD time
  • 6.00pm dinner – up at the table to talk about what we’ve seen.
  • 7.00/7.30pm dishes, get ready for bed, etc

We’ve had a few different attempts at finding this routine.

  • If we watch the DVD after eating dinner we tend to be too tired to talk,
  • If we eat dinner while watching we get distracted with food, drinks and lots of comings and goings
  • If we stay in the lounge room to talk, the kids are too comfortable and ‘lounge-y’ to talk deep and meaningful (though we have conversations in the lounge at other times)
  • The other thing we’ve learnt is that dinner needs to be ready to go as soon as the DVD is finished, because if there is too long of a gap between DVD and dinner then we lose momentum and we get out of the ‘groove’ and conversation dies (or moves onto something else)

So we watch the movie at our optimum time, have dinner ready to go, sit up at the table to talk it over. It works well for all of us.

What Movies do we intend to watch?

  • Creation DVDs
  • Documentaries (Biblical, historical, science)
  • Bible Teaching seminars
  • God stories – Biographies
  • Worldview teaching
  • Fiction Stories that tell a God truth

We are conscious that we have a spread of age and comprehension levels so we want our DVD choices to be balanced. Some maybe a little over Daniel’s head, but we will stop the DVD and talk it over with him along the way and then others will be aimed more at his age.

At the moment we are watching the Do Hard Things Conference DVDs. Though we read the book as a family read aloud, each of the children continue to be challenged as they hear this series.

Last night we listened to Greg Harris (father of Brett and Alex Harris) talk about our character – that is our need for God to redeem our sinful nature. We can do good things but unless our sinful nature is changed we still have selfish reasons behind our doing good things. I thought that was a particularly clarifying point. He left us with a few very strong questions – questions that make us consider our motives and our habits:

  • How often do you pray just because you believe God is there to hear you?
  • How often to you read the Bible because you it is God’s Word and you want to hear from Him.
  • How often do you obey God just because you believe in Him
  • Do you see enough evidence of God’s grace in your life to be confident you have been born again?

This is just an example of the types of discussions we will continue to have after we’ve watched our ‘thinking movie.’

Though we watch a lot of movies as our downtime family activities making one night a week as a thinking movie night has added another opportunity to learn together.

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