With the merry month of May nearing its end and June around the corner, families are gearing up for summer plans that may include vacations, trips to camp, swimming and other fun in the sun.

Between these times of traditional summer activities, however, we are tempted to stay indoors to beat the heat, relax and enjoy air conditioning. There is nothing wrong with that; yet summertime, like any other time of year, affords people the opportunity to live life the way God intended in each of the following areas:

/// Physically

Many people have physical limitations that do not allow them much activity. Far more people, however, choose not to be active. A 2013 survey through the Centers of Disease Control found that some 80 percent of people do not get the recommended exercise each week.

With unlimited screen time (e.g. smartphone, TVs) luring us into inactive lives, we often miss opportunities to be on the move. Activity comes in all forms. In fact, the couple taking a walk in the park and visiting with other people along the way may be “redeeming the times” in better ways than the individual training for a race or the dude working out to look better in the mirror. This summer, Christians would do well to find ways to be active in service that build up the Body of Christ, even as they build up their own physical bodies.

/// Relationally

“If the world had a front porch like we did back then we’d still have our problems but we’d all be friends,” says a classic country music song. Gone are the days when people front-porch sit, relating to their neighbors to build relationships.

Rather than hulling up in your home this summer, look for ways to make new friends and acquaintances, knowing that God might open a door to evangelism, knowing that God will add meaning and joy to your life through godly relationships. Put down your cell phone, turn off that TV, and step outside to see who God has brought to your front porch.

/// Spiritually

Backyard Bible Clubs, Vacation Bible School, Falls Creek: there are countless special ways in which we seek God in the summer. Christians would do well to recommit to praying for these important programs that point people to Jesus.

We also would do well to set some goals, such as a new summer Bible reading plan, to make the most of our time. Summer also is a time when church members are tempted to grow lax in church attendance. Vacations and ball games take families away from Sunday School and worship, to their own detriment. Families, don’t let this time away from school lead you to think a break from church is in order as well. Instead, ramp up your involvement, to His glory.

In the end, summer months are like any other on the calendar. They are opportunities to live for Christ, to be an active part of His Kingdom. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory” (1 Cor. 10:31).