Here’s the continuation of last week’s conversation about Family Devotions…
My husband is an early riser. Always has been.
Getting up early – and cheerfully – would not happen to be my strong point. But I am working on it.
So that Man I Married coaxes me out of our bedroom every morning by grinding the coffee beans and preparing an enticing tray of coffee for us. Knowing just the very aroma of fresh coffee helps to brighten my day (pathetic, I realize).
Then while he’s pouring the coffee, I’ll walk over to pop in some worship CD. And turn it up nice and loud. This is the signal to the rest of the house they should wake-up and make their way downstairs. Slightly obnoxious – but effective.
After sitting around and chatting for a while, we’ll then go and fish our Bibles out of the nearby basket. We tend to work through one book at a time, alternating between Old and New Testament, and take turns reading. Sometimes we make it through an entire chapter and other times merely a few verses in a morning. My husband usually leads in teaching and a brief discussion, but there are some days when all we do is read the Word. Or maybe only talk together. Or simply sip coffee.
We like to end our time together in prayer. Here we’ll share our requests and each pray or, if we’re running late, my husband will close for us.
Simplicity seems to be the key. All told, our devotional time will probably last for a half hour or so? We found that by keeping it somewhat short and sweet, it fits into the “line upon line and precept upon precept” idea and not too heavy for the younger set.
How do we keep the attention of those little ones anyway?
Well, mostly they grow into it. When the children were very young, I held them in my lap. A slow training process. When they got a little older, we gave them a small Bible of their own to hold and that’s considered Big Stuff. We try to keep them (reasonably) still and (relatively) quiet.
Not that it’s some dull or dreary time – not at all! We laugh, joke, and generally have lots of fun during these morning times. After all, our desire is to teach our family to love the Word and want to grow together. So we want it to be a warm and loving experience.
And how did we decide on family devotions in the first place?
I’d been thinking and praying about it, but never said anything to my husband. He was already doing so much for our family and I was convinced that it should come from the Spirit’s leading. Not mine. Then one day he surprised me by saying that he’d like for us to start having devotions as a family.
Terrific! Count me in.
But even then it took us a while to get it figured out. When. What we should do. How we should do it. It was definitely a process.
For instance, we had to find a time that worked for all of us. First we tried after dinner, then right before going to bed. Finally, the morning seemed our best option, since we homeschool and my husband has a flexible work schedule.
Not forgetting, of course, my husband is an early riser. And fixes a fabulous cup of coffee.
So if you’re seeking to gather for family devotions?
1. Follow your husband in however he leads. He needs to know he has his wife’s full support.
2. Train your children to respect and appreciate Dad’s leading.
3. Don’t try to do too much. Keeping it simple and consistent seems to go the farthest.
4. Find a time that works well for everyone. Then try to stick to it (but don’t be surprised at how many disruptions and exceptions come up as soon as you do).
5. Enjoy this time together! Whenever and whatever that time ends up looking like – it’s different for each family.
And if you don’t have family devotions? That’s fine too. You’ll be encouraged by Christy’s post, What Should Spiritual Leadership Look Like? The Lord grows a family in all kinds of ways; He’s by no means limited to “formal” devotions.
The most important thing as parents is to love and obey our God and Savior. Then impress that love upon our children with both our lives and our teaching.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up (Deut. 6:7).
Many blessings on you as you seek to raise your children for Him!
In His grace,
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