What’s your idea of family devotions? Children quietly sitting as their father shares insight from the Bible?
If that’s not your reality, you’re not alone.
Is this more like your house–your family is barely ever home at the same time, except when everyone’s sleeping. Or when you attempt family devotions, the kids are fidgeting, rolling around on the floor, saying “He’s touching me” or the teenager says, “This is lame” while giving a grand entrance eye-roll.
While family devotions are hard to put together, a consistent family time is important.
I came across a resource from Annie Fox’s blog on family meetings. As school counselor, I highly recommend it. As a mom, I recommend it because a few years ago we began our own family meeting time after a suggestion we received from our vacation at Life Action Family Camp. For several years now, we have family devotions every Sunday night. Here are 5 reasons why.
1. It’s important to hear God’s Word at home rather than just at church. There’s something remarkable about the reading of the Word of God together that gives it validity and importance in a home when it’s honored, even if it’s a small passage.
2. It’s important for families to be together, even for a few minutes, in a disconnected, fast-paced world. Because of our kids’ sports schedules, we’re often not together for meals during the week. That’s why our time on Sunday evening is important. For a few minutes, we’re connected and not distracted by food, TV, or cell phones. We talk, listen, and engage.
3. It’s important for siblings of all ages to interact. We have a nine year span between our oldest and youngest. Intentional opportunities to be together creates life-long bonds between siblings. We’ve seen this develop in our home, and it’s creating genuine friendships between our kids as they get older.
4. It’s important to pray together. Prayer at meal time is a Christian tradition. However, praying together about life issues makes prayer and dependence upon God a real part of life. We’ve had powerful prayer together when we’ve prayed over important things in our children’s lives. We’ve also prayed blessing over the kids, one by one, declaring God’s divine protection and blessing over their life. It’s powerful for your child to hear blessings prayed over them.
5. Family meetings bring laughter, tears, and bonding. Early implementation of family devotions included eye rolls, grumbling, and mumbling. But your kids listen, even if you don’t think they do. As our kids are getting older, I’m glad we’ve persevered through the eye rolls, complaints, and resistance, because our time together is limited.
Do you need ideas for family meetings? Here are some we’ve used:
- Read a passage of scripture with a short lesson from it.
- Sing a hymn or praise song, letting kids pick the song.
- Pray for each other. Have each family member pray for the person on their left or right. It’s powerful to hear siblings who don’t get along pray for each other.
- Share some Bible trivia.
- Pose a question: What was the highlight of your week? Where did you see God work this week? If you could ask mom or dad any question, what would it be? Be simple–or creative.
- Make it short. If kids have homework or need to go to bed, then at least pray together.
If you try some of these ideas, I’d love to hear from you!
This post is just a short section of the new book, Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All. Do you have a copy? If not, get one here or on Amazon. Do you like these ideas? I’d love to share these or other parenting tips with your MOPS or parent group!