What is the first feeling that comes over you when you hear someone say “Family Devotions?” Let me see if I can read your minds…
Joy and Excitement?
I hope that is the case for you, but in all honesty, that is untrue for most of us. Many have these feelings come to them.
Guilt and confusion. Right?
Defeating thoughts of, Where do I begin? How do I maintain consistency? So many excuses come to mind when you start down the path of Family Devotions.
Let’s look at the more common excuses.
1. I don’t feel adequate.
If you are fighting this one, you are in a good place. This means you are entering into the devotions in humility. Check out what the Bible says about humility; He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. Psalm 25:9
2. I just do not know enough about the Bible.
Will you ever? And think about it, what else in your life did you wait to start doing when you knew everything about it? What if we applied this thought to other areas of our life?
“I am waiting to get married when I know more about the opposite sex.”
“I would love to work for your company, but I want to know more before I get started. Thank you the offer anyway!”
“I love the thought of breathing, but until I know more, I think I will just hold my breath.”
The truth about this excuse is that God’s Word will accomplish what HE desires…All you have to do is place it before your children. Check out this Scripture in Isaiah 55.
“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.”
Do you see that? It is not our job to bring change, but to present the truth that plants seeds that bring forth crops of transformation.
3. I don’t know where to start.
Out of all the excuses, this is a more legit one. The BIBLE is HUGE and can be overwhelming in thinking of where to start. You cannot go wrong with the Proverbs (31 chapters and 31 days in most months) or starting in a book like the Gospel of John. Here's a link to help jumpstart this journey for you.
4. I have tried it before, but it didn’t work.
Thomas Edison spoke a great truth about this excuse; “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Remember, that anything worthwhile in your life does not come easy (a great marriage, great parenting). Also you must realize you are engaged in a spiritual battle. I have found in my journey with Christ, those things that have much value are the more difficult to start doing.
Four thoughts to keep close when starting or restarting your family devotions:
1. Be creative.
Make it fun. We serve a creative God who gives us freedom in presenting His Word. For example, when reading about Peter’s faith to walk on the water, take the family to the nearest lake and let them try walking on the lake!
2. Share the love.
Who says you are the only one as the parent that must lead the devotions? Doesn’t Paul remind Timothy, ”Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example in speech in life and love and faith and purity.” Depending upon the age of your children, you may need to guide them, but then empower them to plan and lead the devotional.
3. Less is more.
We sometimes kill the moment feeling as if we need to overly plan. It's okay if your devotions are just 15 minutes or so. Don’t kill the moment by dragging it out. Experiment in timing and see what is best for your family.
4. Share your fear.
Be transparent. Share with your children that you do have feelings of inadequacies and although you know this is best for your family, it is difficult for you to lead out in this area. Step down from the IVORY TOWER and share your fears and failures. Don’t glorify them, but do share them. In sharing your struggles, your family will be empowered that they are not alone. Transparency breeds intimacy which breeds success.
Go ahead. Just do it! Jump into it. Choose a night of the week that is most convenient for your family. For our family, it usually is Sunday as we get ready for the upcoming week. Please share your success stories with us all so that we can learn from one another in community.