How to Overcome the “For Worse” of Your Marriage Vows

It’s funny how just a few small words can really change our perspective. No doubt when you took your wedding vows, you were so eager for the “for better” of marriage. Me, too! That’s not the only thing I vowed, though. That phrase had 3 more words at the end of it – ones that we often overlook. So what happens when you feel like you’re stuck in the “or for worse” phase of marriage?

When You're Stuck in the "...or for worse..." Phase of Your Marriage

Please note: I do know that there are times when it’s not safe to stay in your marriage.
This post is written from the perspective of being within a safe marriage.

If you are struggling and not in a safe situation, please do get help.

PRAY
Okay, this seems obvious, but let’s be realistic – so often, we forget about the most basic things when we’re stuck or trying to fix something.

What can you pray for? This list is certainly not all-inclusive, but here are a few suggestions:

Your husband – God knows the struggles he is facing, and He knows any areas that need work. Trust Him to work in your husband’s heart. (I can promise you with great certainty that the way God works will look completely different than the way you might have “fixed” the problem. TRUST GOD!)
Yourself - During this time, you’re going to need to pray for yourself, even if you don’t normally. You’re going to need God to work in and through you, to give you peace, rest and hope.
Your family - If there are children or extended family members involved in your life, pray for them. Ask God to provide for what they need as they go through this time.
Your situation - God knows the specifics of what is going on, of what brought you to this place. It’s so good to know that we can trust our future to God, no matter where we are, or where we hope to get!

God knows all the details of our lives – the good things and even the ugly parts – so I appreciate going to Him to pour out my heart.

God and I have had some intense heart-to-heart conversations as I’ve struggled through the “for worse” parts of my marriage vows.

TRUST
I don’t know your situation, but I do know my own. When everything came undone, there were a million and one opportunities for trusting God. I had to trust God for everything from basic necessities to keeping a roof over my head and keeping my family together.

The hard thing about trust is that, in our humanness, we desperately want the answer we want, at the time we want it. In other words, every night I went to bed without a resolution to the problem was an opportunity for fear…or faith.

It turns out that there truly is only room for one of those – fear or faith.

I cannot promise you that there’s hope for your marriage, but I can – and do – promise you that God will be faithful to meet your needs and to make your heart whole.

WORK
In my own life, when things began to go badly, I needed to get a job. I needed income. You may not be in that situation, but we all have work that we can be doing.

Ask God to make you a blessing. He may choose to do that within your home, or He may choose to do that in various ways with friends, neighbors, even strangers. If you ask God to give you a way to be a blessing to someone, He is going to do it. Personally, I like this because it gave me an opportunity to take my mind off my marriage and focus on a way to benefit someone else.

Work isn’t just a physical act, though. Work is a spiritual act. We’re in a battle, whether our marriage is in the “for better” or “for worse” category. The enemy doesn’t want us honoring God within our marriage, so he’s happy when we’re struggling. He’s thrilled when we’re ready to throw in the towel.

If you’re truly going to work to stick it out in your marriage, then you’re going to need to do some spiritual work. Each day you’ll need to prepare for battle – like you never have before. A wife has a quiet strength that the enemy knows he can’t discount. Sisters, if each of us committed to truly working through the “for worse” parts of our marriages, think of the progress we could make for the kingdom of Heaven!

* * * * *

Friends, I know that often it isn’t completely our fault that our marriage is struggling. Believe me, if you were to look at my situation, it would be very safe to say that everything that has gone wrong is completely my husband’s fault.

But, I don’t want my story to end there.

I have prayed for redemption within my marriage. I have prayed, trusted and worked, and God has answered by keeping us together and growing stronger in Him.

Working through all that I have, though, also showed me that God has a plan for my life – my own life, separate from my husband’s or my kids’ lives. No matter how things might have turned out, I knew that God had a plan for me.

As women I think we can easily get sidetracked by the many hats we wear. At the end of the day, God needed to remind me that I am His. No matter what hat I wear, I belong to Jesus. And I woke up today because He still has a plan for my life!

Whatever you’re facing, even if you’re stuck in the “or for worse” stage of marriage, remember that God has a plan for you. Pray, trust and seek Him for the work He would have you to do.

Rebekah M. Hallberg

Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.

When You Don’t Want to Pray for Your Husband

Sometimes I don’t want to pray for my husband.

There, I said it. And saying it makes me feel all sorts of ugly inside, but it’s the truth.

When I’m angry with my husband, or when we’ve had a disagreement and the emotions that come along with that are still fresh in me, I have little desire to pray for him. In fact, even if I do pray, my prayers are likely to be punitive rather than uplifting.

Lord, smite this man’s heart and convict him of his sin!

Father, make him suffer for what he did to me!

I’m ashamed to even type these words out, much less admit that I’ve prayed them before. Have you been there, friend? Have you been so frustrated with your man that even praying seems beyond what you can handle?

So what should we do when we just don’t want to pray for our husbands?

We pray anyways.

Yes, I know that’s not the answer you or I want, but it’s the answer we need to hear.

Listen, when we sit down in prayer for our husbands, a funny thing happens – our hearts begin to change. In the midst of praying for the Lord to smother my husband with conviction, the Holy Spirit smothers me with conviction. He shows me all of the ways in which my sin is no different from my husband’s sin.

That self-righteous attitude isn’t so easy to uphold when we’re communing with the God of the Universe, is it?

Let's be honest - sometimes you just don't want to pray for your husband. Perhaps you feel hurt or angry. Perhaps you just feel apathetic. What should you do when the desire to pray just isn't there? When You Don't Want to Pray for Your Husband

Sometimes I’m tempted to hold back, even while praying, and hide away those sinful thoughts. But our Father sees and knows all. One of the best perks of praying is being able to unleash all of that pent up anger and frustration to the One who loves me anyways.

Like a frustrated, independent toddler who finally gives in to a parent’s offer of help, I find peace in the arms of the One who holds me when I’m hurting.

Praying opens doors I’ve slammed shut in my own heart and brings the necessary change to forgive.

In years past, I sometimes felt so overwhelmed by marital strife that I wasn’t even sure what to pray for. Even in times such as these, the best course of action is to pray anyways.

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings to deep for words…” Rom. 8:26 (NASB)

Praying for my husband even when I’m hurt or angry invites God to step into our marriage and smooth over the rough edges where we grate against each other. It invites Him to heal the wounds and bring redemption.

Praying for my husband doesn’t just change me, but it also changes my man.

After nearly seventeen years of marriage, I’m learning that a well-timed prayer does infinitely more good than any words I have to speak to my husband.

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.”  Ps. 4:1 (NASB)

I can ask the Lord to soften my husband’s heart and help him see my point of view. I can ask the Lord to convict my husband of any sin, not out of malice, but out of a desire to see him walk uprightly.

When I obey the Lord and pray anyways, I’m never sorry that I quit fighting long enough to pray. But in those times when I disobey and cling to my right to fight instead, when I don’t pray because I don’t want to pray…. I’m always sorry later.

That’s why I recently decided to take the plunge and commit to Kaylene Yoder’s new course, Becoming a Better Wife. If you’d like to learn more about praying and fasting for your husband and your marriage, I highly recommend this course.

The material is both helpful and convicting, but what I like most about this product is that it comes from the heart of a wife who has been desperate for change.  She really gets it.

The course also offers printable material that you can keep handy for quick reference and encouragement – so many bonuses!

Do you need an action plan to help you pray for your marriage?  The Becoming a Better Wife course is designed by a wife who was desperate to see change in her own marriage.  She knew she couldn't continue the way things were, so she set out with a plan to pray and fast for her marriage. This course contains 7 sessions of study material, beautiful printables and active challenges! Join today using code JS10 for an extra 10% off!

I’m especially pleased to be able to offer my readers a ten percent discount on the already affordable price because I believe in the power of prayer to effect change. And I know from experience that having a specific action plan is so very helpful in sticking to that commitment to pray!

So, for those interested in the course, be sure to type in code JS10 to receive your discount!

Please let me know via e-mail or facebook if you take up the Better Wife challenge so that we can encourage one another along the way. :)

Let's be honest - sometimes you just don't want to pray for your husband. Perhaps you feel hurt or angry. Perhaps you just feel apathetic. What should you do when the desire to pray just isn't there? When You Need to Pray for Your Husband the Most

So the next time you don’t want to pray for your husband, just do it anyways.

Even in the midst of an argument, stop and ask for a time out. Praying is the best possible choice you can make in that moment!

And if your prayers start out a little angry and vengeful, trust the Lord to work the necessary change in your own heart first.

You won’t be sorry.

Jen :)

For more information on the Becoming a Better Wife course, click this link. (Disclosure: Jen is an affiliate for the Becoming a Better Wife course and as such will receive a percentage should you choose to purchase through this link.  Thank you for helping to support the ministry of Being Confident of This!)

Are you frustrated by failure you in your marriage? Do you wonder if there is any hope left for you? Hope for the Hurting Wife is a 30 day devotional journey written by two women who survived the muck and mire of marriage problems. Christian marriage|difficult marriage|encouragement for wives|hope for marriage|should I get a divorce|how to stay married| healthy marriage|trusting God with marriage|wife|husband|christian woman

For more marriage encouragement, check out my friend Jenn’s Encouragement for Imperfect Wives series!  It has some excellent content from many seasoned wives. :)

Sharing with:  Messy Marriage, Wholehearted Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Grace and Truth

7 Scriptures for a Steadfast Heart

Steadfast.

The word brings to mind a calm assurance, an unwavering faith, and unchanging character. Steadfast is a gentle power complimented by humble quietness.

A steadfast woman is a woman at peace.

This is my desire, friends, to be a woman who is steadfast in heart, faithful to Jesus and to her family.  I want to be the kind of steadfast woman who is Christ-confident rather than self-confident, who utilizes the gifts He’s given not for her own glory but for His glory.

Steadfast.

Last year the Lord kept bringing to mind the word Persevere, and if you follow along with this blog or the BCOT facebook page, then you know why I needed that word! We’ve been through a season of turmoil and change that still hasn’t quite settled.

Yet in the midst of all the chaos, I’ve found a more confident faith.

I’m not just referring to the recent reminders that Jehovah Jireh provides for all of our needs, but also to the understanding that He directs our paths in ways that don’t always make sense. What I’m learning is to trust His voice rather than letting doubt seep in through cracks chiselled by the questions of others and by my own fears.

So this year, my One Word is steadfast.

If you want to walk through this year with a steadfast marriage, a steadfast ministry, or a steadfast faith, no matter what curve balls life throws your way, then this one is for you!  Use God's Holy Word to help strengthen your faith and give you confidence.  Becoming a Steadfast Woman

 

That word applies to so many areas of my life in which I wish to remain secure and consistent. So, I’d love to share with you these verses for a steadfast heart.

7 Scriptures for a Steadfast Heart

Steadfast faith

Over these past few years of writing and speaking, my faith journey has taken many unexpected twists and turns. As I continue to grow in Christ, I want a steadfast faith, one that remains consistent no matter what challenges life throws my way.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Ps. 51:10 (NASB)

I want to remain confident in that work-in-progress promise found in Phil. 1:6.

Print out this free Scripture reminder of how to be a steadfast woman! Use God's Holy Word to help strengthen your faith and give you confidence. Becoming a Steadfast Woman, christian women, bible verses for confidence, studying the bible, faith, faith blog, christian mom, christian wife, free printables, free faith-based resources

Steadfast Marriage

Faithful readers will already know that my husband and I have faced significant challenges in our marriage.  However, the Lord has been faithful to see us through many trials and to help us see the progress along the way. I find that I don’t panic anymore when conflicts come.  I’m no longer enslaved by the enemy’s lies that our marriage will never be any different or that we might as well give up trying to change it!

“After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore you and make you strong firm, and steadfast.” 1 Pet. 5:10 (NIV)

Being steadfast in my marriage this year means that I won’t despair during difficult seasons, but I’ll have a calm assurance that we will come out on the other side not only intact but stronger!  It also means I’ll keep doing the good work of becoming a wife after God’s own heart.

Steadfast Parenting

Lately, the Lord has been convicting me that we need to keep persevering in our parenting methods even though our children are getting older and more self-sufficient. I want to be a steadfast parent who stays the course rather than one who gives in to laziness. My job is not yet finished! :)

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Gal. 6:9 (NASB)

If you want to walk through this year with a steadfast marriage, a steadfast ministry, or a steadfast faith, no matter what curve balls life throws your way, then this one is for you!  Use God's Holy Word to help strengthen your faith and give you confidence.  Becoming a Steadfast Woman

Steadfast Writing

Being steadfast in the area of writing means I will aim to be more consistent, and that I will obey that still small voice when the Lord prompts me to sit and write.

“This hope we have as an anchor to the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast, and one which enters within the veil…” Heb. 6:19 (NASB)

It also means that I will grow in confidence in the voice He has given me so that I don’t make comparisons or look for outside approval. My heart’s desire is to write for an audience of One.

Steadfast Weight-loss Journey

(Sigh….) Many of you know I’ve been working toward some weight-loss goals since last year.  I only got rid of a little over 25 pounds, yet I persevered through injuries, illnesses, schedule changes, and the upheaval of changing ministries this past fall.  This progress was only possible through the power of Christ in me!

“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!” Ps. 57:7 (NASB)

This year  I’m aiming for another 50 pounds gone, an average loss of a pound a week.  So, being steadfast in this area means I’ll keep plugging away at healthy eating and exercise while trusting the Lord to take care of the results.

Steadfast Church-planting

Being steadfast as a church-planter means I’ll be secure enough to be a fool for Christ, willing to take risks because my faith is firm and my identity is secure.  It means I will keep doing the work the hard work, but I’ll trust Him for the results.

I can also be steadfast by pushing myself beyond my own comfort zone, especially when it comes to evangelism and by trusting the Lord to continue providing for our physical needs.

 

I want to be like the Proverbs 31 woman who does not fear the future but greets trouble with an unshakable faith (v.25).

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.” Isa. 26:3 (NASB)

As this year progresses, I’m excited to see how the Lord continues to use the word steadfast to teach me.

Will you choose to be steadfast this year?

Jen :)

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Print it out, hang it where you will see it often. Or save it to your phone or tablet for easy access. Enjoy!

Print out this free Scripture reminder of how to be a steadfast woman! Use God's Holy Word to help strengthen your faith and give you confidence. Becoming a Steadfast Woman, christian women, bible verses for confidence, studying the bible, faith, faith blog, christian mom, christian wife, free printables, free faith-based resources

 

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Are you frustrated by failure you in your marriage? Do you wonder if there is any hope left for you? Hope for the Hurting Wife is a 30 day devotional journey written by two women who survived the muck and mire of marriage problems. Christian marriage|difficult marriage|encouragement for wives|hope for marriage|should I get a divorce|how to stay married| healthy marriage|trusting God with marriage|wife|husband|christian woman

Sharing with: Tell His Story

If you want to walk through this year with a steadfast marriage, a steadfast ministry, or a steadfast faith, no matter what curve balls life throws your way, then this one is for you! Use God's Holy Word to help strengthen your faith and give you confidence. Becoming a Steadfast Woman christian women, bible verses for confidence, studying the bible, faith, faith blog, christian mom, christian wife

 

 

Look to Jesus: A Review (and giveaway!)

If someone asked me if I trust God, I’d most likely answer yes, but I haven’t always trusted God in every circumstance.  In fact, during certain trials in my life when I felt I was drowning, trust seemed very hard to come by.

I’m certain I have more lessons in trust ahead of me, too.

That’s why Dawn Klinge’s new book Look to Jesus is so important.  My friend Dawn recently shared with us about how trusting Jesus is related to the joy we experience, but her book delves even more deeply into the topic of trust.

Klinge’s suggestion to trust God by looking to Jesus sounds so simple on the surface, maybe too simple. However, Klinge takes the reader on a journey to discover how looking to Jesus through various seasons of life leads to a deepening trust, one not easily shaken.

Along the way, Klinge takes time to explain basic doctrines that even seasoned believers may not fully understand, such as the Trinity.  I appreciate that the author lays this groundwork because if we don’t understand God’s character or how He operates, then we don’t really know God, do we?

And if we don’t really know Him, how can we trust Him?

In the first few chapters, Klinge rightly points out that we cannot generate trust on our own.  She encourages the reader to understand this truth by using her own life experiences.

“I’ve never needed to literally walk on water. But I have had storms in my life. In some of those storms, I’ve kept my eyes on Jesus and in some, I’ve looked around at my circumstances and started to sink – and I’ve called out to Jesus and he has rescued me. He wants to do the same for you.” ~Dawn Klinge, Look to Jesus (pg. 31)

But my favorite part of the book takes place in Chapter 4, when Klinge gets down to the nnitty-gritty of how we become conformed to the image of Christ, yet she also makes an important distinction between legalism and grace.  It’s this grace-filled approach which permeates the book that really resonates with me!

Dawn Klinge's new book, Look to Jesus, gently leads the reader to an understanding of how to trust God even during the painful trials of life.  Read here for a review and enter for your chance to win a copy of this new release!

Throughout Look to Jesus, Klinge supports her own words with a wealth of Scripture as well as well-chosen quotes from other authors and famous people from all walks of life. The reader will appreciate how the author weaves all of this knowledge into her own story of learning to trust God.

Out of all of the quotes chosen, however, the Oswald Chamber’s quote on page 58 is my favorite because it falls right in line with the purpose of this blog. The point of our faith journey is the process – the work-in-progress of being remade into His image, moment by moment, day by day.

I always enjoy a reminder of my work-in-progress status! :)

Another favorite moment took place in Chapter 6 when Klinge speaks to trusting God when life is hard.  I applaud Klinge for being brave enough to tackle this issue by sharing from her own pain.  I also agree with the author on her conclusion that pain has a purpose, one we cannot realize if we try to deny the pain of a difficult season of life.

More than that, I respect that Klinge points the reader to the truth that Jesus understands human pain because He endured pain himself!  Not only does he understand our pain, He wants to sit with us in the midst of it.

What I admire most about Look to Jesus is that any person who reads through the book will find a clear presentation of the gospel and what it means for us. In the final chapter, Klinge writes:

“Think of the high price God paid for you.

You are precious to Him and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how terribly you’ve failed – because it’s not about you. It’s about Christ in you.  How could we possibly doubt that God would ever give up on us, ever fail us, when we consider what was done to earn our place in His family.” ~ Dawn Klinge, Look to Jesus (p.95)

What better way to close than to remind us that looking to Jesus, trusting God in every circumstance, is rooted in our identity in Christ.  He who paid the price for us will not turn away in our times of need!

Dawn Klinge's new book, Look to Jesus, gently leads the reader to an understanding of how to trust God even during the painful trials of life.  Read here for a review and enter for your chance to win a copy of this new release!

Although the tone of this book is more conversational in nature than some readers might be used to, the nuggets of truth throughout make it a good read for anyone.

If you haven’t already read Dawn’s book, I hope you’ll take the time to do so.I have no doubt you’ll find wisdom and encouragement that applies to your life.

And if you’d like a chance to win a free copy of Dawn’s book (PDF version), be sure to enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also  visit Dawn at her blog, Above the Waves, where she writes on life and faith.

Because of Him,

Jen :)

*A proof copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author for purposes of review. However, all opinions are my own!  Also, this post makes use of affiliate links. For more information on the affiliate links used by this blog, visit Being Confident of This’s homepage.

Sharing with: Grace and Truth,

Learning to Recognize Progress Can Save Your Marriage

Believe it or not, the whole fight started over a pile of clean laundry.  We had just finished family fun night with our children, an evening of homemade, personalized pizzas and fun games and silly antics. After tucking the kids into bed, we were ready for some relaxation, some time to cuddle in front of our recent Netflix favorite.

But as we entered the bedroom, there it sat – a large pile of clean laundry just waiting to be folded.

I sighed.

I hadn’t meant to leave it there all day, but like most moms, I just got busy meeting all. the. needs.  So there it sat, and as I flopped down to fold it, I spotted The Face, you know- the one that means your husband is a little miffed even if he doesn’t say anything.

Every marriage goes through difficult seasons, and in those seasons, we often feel stuck. Here's a way to get out of that rut. Save your marriage by...

Instead of following my better judgment and ignoring The Face, I immediately took offense.

Why in the world should he get mad at me – at least having laundry on the bed means that we actually have some clean laundry, which is no small feat after the week I’ve had!  He should be happy that I managed to squeeze in a few loads here and there today. It’s not like I’m the only one in this house capable of folding laundry, anyways!

He should be thanking me!  

Am I right, ladies?!

Of course, that line of self-righteous thinking led to an ill-timed argument, and what could have been a beautiful end to the day quickly degenerated into angry words and hurt feelings…

To find out how learning to recognize progress can save your marriage, join me over at my friend Becky’s blog for the rest of the story!

Are you searching for marriage encouragement? It's possible to find hope for your marriage, and we want to make that easier through this free ebook! The authors understand what a burden a troubled marriage relationship can be, but they also know the power of God's redeeming work. Christian wife, hope for marriage, troubled marriage, difficult marriage, marriage problems, marriage encouragement, strong marriage, healthy marriage, god-centered marriage, godly wife, good wife

Sharing this with: Grace and Truth,

25 Family Fun Days (We Are Fa-mi-ly Series)

All month long here at Being Confident of This, we’ve been addressing the need for strong families, the kind that stick together for life, the kind that leave legacies for future generations.  If you missed the first few articles, I suggest that you check the schedule at the bottom to catch up.

As I mentioned in previous posts, family bonding should happen often and in a variety of ways!

One way that our family creates memories and solidifies bonds is through what we call Family Fun Day, an entire day devoted to quality time together as a family.  No joke – the fun must last until bedtime or the most literal-minded of the bunch will call the parents out. ;)

However, if you can’t fit in a whole day of family fun, try starting later in the day and carrying on the family fun until bedtime.  Something about going to bed with an emotional tank full of happy makes family fun day stick in the minds of your children.

Here’s some help planning out your family fun days!

25 Ideas for Family Fun Day

Free (or nearly free) options for Family Fun Day:

1. Bonfire and games in the dark

If you don’t have a fire pit, you can build one yourself (make that part of the family fun) or you can buy a portable one.  Be sure to have supplies for s’mores on hand and check out my Family Fun pinterest board for some glow in the dark games!

2. Fishing trip

It’s just my opinion that every kid should go fishing at least once in a lifetime. :)  But seriously, the quiet togetherness of fishing allows for some great conversation!

3. Family camping

Our kids love to camp! We don’t even have to travel far to do it because they most enjoy the experience of being together day and night, sleeping in tents, and cooking over the fire – simple and inexpensive family fun.

4. Outdoor fun at a State Park

Pack up a picnic lunch or dinner and head to your favorite state park or nature preserve.  Choose a few trails to hike or go on a nature scavenger hunt. You can easily spend a day at a large state park!

5. Family Game Night

If family game night is new to you, then you should read about our favorite games (categorized by age and group size) and how to host a game night with other families when you have young ones at home!  Our four children ask for family game night again and again – it never gets old for them. :)  I love the ideas on this pinterest board for creating a trophy for winners!

6.Winter outdoor fun

Sledding, fort-building, snowball fighting – you catch the drift (hee hee).  If your family enjoys competition, then add some challenges to this family fun day – who can create the most unique snow creature or the best snow obstacle course?

Nothing helps to keep a family close quite like spending time together and having fun. Want to create fun memories with your children? Try one of these 25 activities for your next family fun day or night! From the We Are Fa-mi-ly Series at Being Confident of This

7. Active family fun

Bike riding, trail hiking or walking, family sports (soccer, kickball, whiffle ball, etc.) – any of these work for getting your family active together.  Be sure to choose something all family members can participate in and enjoy. You can take turns choosing the next activity.

If you happen to be stuck indoors due to the weather, try something from this list!

8. Wii night (0r other gaming system)

Find several multi-player games to challenge each other on, such as Super Mario Bros. (Coin battle or free-f0r-all mode add a fun twist), Mario Kart, Wario Smooth Moves, Super Smash Bros., Wii Sports mini-games, etc.  If your family really enjoys competition, draw up a leader board and keep track of points to declare a Family Fun Day Champion!

9. Performance Night

This family fun night may take a little more planning or it may just evolve spontaneously.  Most kids love to perform, especially to a captive audience. When Dad and Mom join in on the fun, the night gets even better.  Schedule a line-up of group and solo acts – singing, plays, skits, puppet shows, anything that only requires a little creativity and leads to lots of giggles.

10. Beach Day/Swimming

Load up all of the necessities and head to a nearby beach or pool.  We usually pack a lunch and plan to spend a good portion of the day enjoying the sun, the sand, and the water. Be sure to build some sandcastles together and play some water games as a family.

11. Lego Challenge

A Lego family fun day is on my list of things to try.  If you check out my family fun pinterest board, you’ll find some great ideas for a lego-themed day.

12. Playground Hopping

In the summer, this one’s easy. Pack a picnic and scout out several playgrounds to visit. Perhaps you can even take a day trip to a city with a well-known or unique play area?  Playground hop until everyone is worn-out, then return home for family movie night!  Inclement weather pops up?  No worries! Just find some nearby indoor play places at restaurants or in malls.

Low-cost options for Family Fun Day:

13. Crazy Pinz/Bowling

In a bigger town near us, we have this place called Crazy Pinz, which often hosts family nights or cosmic bowling (gl0w-in-the-dark bowling). But it’s not your average bowling alley.  They also have indoor bumper cars, a huge arcade, and something called Ball-O-City – like big playground with these foam balls shooting everywhere!

Look for something similar in your area. Or, if you all enjoy the simple pleasure of bowling a strike, then stick to a regular bowling alley. :)

14. Mini Golf

Most mini  golf places also house arcades and some even boast of go-karts, climbing walls, and other fun options.  Nothing is quite as much fun as seeing one of the family members putt a hole-in-one, though!  And little ones make the day even more entertaining with their interesting putting techniques.

15. Laser Tag

Our family loves laser tag, probably because we tend to be slightly competitive. This active family fun day can be both competitive and team-oriented, however, since you usually compete against another group, but still receive individual scoresheets.

16. Paintball

Similar to laser tag except it takes place outdoors (not for young children) and is a little more painful.  We have not yet tried this as a family, but would like to!

17. Zoo Day

Large families should pay attention to membership prices because often a single visit for the entire family is close in price to buying a year membership!  Pack your own lunch and skip the souvenir shop to save more money!

18. Inflatable Fun

Find an indoor bouncy house attraction.  Most of these bouncy attractions offer inflatables for all sizes, so the whole family can enjoy time together.

19. SkyZone

If your family really likes to bounce, check for a trampoline attraction in your area.  Most of these offer a block of bounce time on various trampoline attractions – regular trampoline bouncing, trampoline basketball dunk, trampoline dodgeball, trampoline jump into foam pit, and so on.

20. Creation Museum (or another Children’s Museum)

Our four kiddos still talk about the time we went to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.  We spent the entire day learning about God’s wonderful creation, and for our older sons, the experience was a real faith booster.  They still retain facts from the displays on Creation and use them to defend their faith.  If you have a large family, be aware that food items can be costly, but you can always pack your own!

We also enjoy the Indianapolis Children’s museum that isn’t too far from us.  Even our teenage son doesn’t mind going along.  This museum (and many others) offers several free days each year, so be sure to check before you make plans to go.

21. Family Olympics

Here’s another idea I found on pinterest for a family fun day that involves lots of fun and games.  Choose the games most appropriate for your ages and enjoy some backyard fun as a family!

Plan and save options for Family Fun Day:

22. Day trip to nearby attractions

Think amusement parks, dinner theaters, etc.  Look for savings on Groupon or Living Social!

23. Symphony

Not everyone enjoys classical music, but if your children are older and can handle sitting, you might find a themed night they would enjoy – like Star Wars or Disney.  Attending the symphony isn’t just good for family fun day, but is also a good cultural experience for kids!

24. Unique Restaurant

A restaurant with themed decor is extra fun for kiddos – think Rainforest Cafe or something similar. Since it’s not a restaurant you would normally go to, the day will automatically have a “special” air to it. Be prepared, however, as these themed restaurants are usually more costly than typical family dining.

25. Any Themed Day

This one doesn’t necessarily need to involve a lot of cost, but does require planning, especially if you need special decorations. Have a pirate day and search for hidden treasure in the backyard (scavenger hunt), or plan a family movie night around a specific theme.

The key is to incorporate as much of the theme as possible to make it a memorable night (pinterest is invaluable for planning these).

Now that you’re armed with a list of ideas, all you need to do is put a day or night on the calendar and stick with it!

Jen :)

Other articles in this series:

One way to build strong family bonds is to encourage healthy sibling bonds, also. This mom of three shares 3 tips for building strong sibling bonds.

What makes your family unique? What traditions do you cherish? Discover new ways to cultivate your family identity and strengthen your bonds. 9 Ways to Cultivate a Family IdentityWhile it's important to teach our children obedience and manners, how to play sports and succeed in school, the most important thing we can ever do for our children is to establish a foundation of faith. 4 Ways to Establish a Foundation of FaithStrong families don't happen by accident. Building a strong family requires a biblical foundation followed up with practical habits that build family ties. Does your family have these 4 biblical characteristics? Follow along in the We Are Fa-mi-ly series at Being Confident of This