Family devotions are an intimidating subject. Most families feel as if they are failing in this area. Generally, this is because most families struggle to make devotions a consistent habit. The families that DO consistently have family devotions, know it only happens because they have made it a priority and therefore have turned it into a daily habit.
Here are three things that have helped us develop a consistent family devotion time (Tip 3 is the most important, it is why we do #1 and #2):
TIP 1: SCHEDULE A TIME
Choose a time that your family is already together on a near-daily basis. This may be a mealtime or before bed. (Aim for at least 5 days a week).
For our family, this means breakfast time. It is the time of day that we are almost always together and is least the likely to be interrupted.
Make any necessary minor routine/habit changes to make this time a priority. I eat my breakfast as a part of my morning routine. Then, I can read the Bible while the rest of the family eats. Now, I pack Tony’s lunch while I make supper, so I don’t have to do it in the morning. This ensures that breakfast is early enough for Tony to join us for family devotions each day before he needs to leave for work.
TIP 2: KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE
If your children are young or if family devotions are a new thing for you, keeping it short and simple makes the whole thing less intimidating.
Keep it short. Begin with 5 minutes. As your kids get older or your family gets used to the routine, you can increase to 10 or 15 minutes…it will happen naturally!
Keep it simple. Read a short passage of scripture; have the kids answer a couple questions about what you’ve read. Pray for your day and be done.
TIP 2 1/2: THE TWO QUESTIONS
The two most important questions to ask about every passage you read:
What does this teach me about God?
- About who God is (His attributes).
- About what God does (His actions).
Because GOD is like this (His attribute or action), what does that mean for me and how I live my life?
- What does this mean for me and for my life?
- Because God is… I … (God first, me second).
TIP 3: REST IN GOD’S POWER
It is our responsibility to be faithful in consistency. It is God’s responsibility to change hearts and lives.
Rest in God’s promises:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Rest in the promise that God’s word is powerful, and it will accomplish what He purposes.
You can have successful family devotions every day!
Family devotions are a success if God’s word is read so all can hear. The distracted questions, silly giggle fits and interruptions do not mean that family devotions were not “successful” that day. They were successful if you were faithful to read God’s word to your family!
Need a place to start with family devotions? Check out In the Fullness of Time: 31 days of family devotions.