Thursday, January 16, 2014

Family Devotions

I remember the 1st time I really began doing family devotions a little over 5 years ago.  I had a 9 month old, a wife of 2 years, and felt absolutely clueless.  I had been convicted of my neglect of this discipline and knew that we needed to do it but I was unsure of myself.  That was 2008.

(Piper and Big Sis, Ella)
Now, 2014, I have a wife of 7 years, a one week old, a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a six year old. I am still convinced that we need to do family devotions (we call it "family worship") but as a husband and father I am still not always 100% sure of myself!  So, I wanted to pass along a couple of recent posts I've seen regarding family devotions to hopefully encourage you as you lead in this important discipline. 

First, here's a post from Dr. Jim Hamilton that fleshes out some of the biblical reasons for leading family devotions: That the Coming Generation Might Praise the Lord

Here is a video that features a recent panel discussion on family devotions but before the discussion it gives 2 real life examples of family devotions led by Dr. Jim Hamilton and Dr. Timothy Paul Jones:

The following is from a recent post by Andrew Weiseth at the Resurgence website:

Practical outline of a family devotional
In case you might find it helpful, here’s what we tend to do in our family time:
  • Pray
  • Sing a song or two
  • Read the Bible story
  • Invite all kids to interact with what they heard
  • Act out the story, with me narrating as needed as we go along
  • Take pictures during the reenactment and let the kids look at the photos
  • Sing a song or two
  • Hold hands and pray together for each other

I pray this encourages you. May it help you to lead your family toward Jesus with greater joy and power. How can you incorporate your kids’ play into your own family devotional time?

Finally, I'll link to an old post where I outlined How We Do Family Worship.  I would add a few things to that. 1st, we use The Jesus Storybook Bible now (instead of the one mentioned in the post).  We also open our night with Doxology and close it with The Gospel Song.  Finally, we are also intentional about memorizing Scripture.  You'd be surprised how well kids can memorize bible verses!  Repetition is key. A few good ones to start out with are Genesis 1:1, Psalm 19:1a, Psalm 34:8a, etc.

I also saw this book referenced in the above video and think we'll invest in purchasing it!

I hope you have found these resources helpful.  The one encouragement I like to give parents comes from the great shoe company, Nike: Just do it.  Seriously.  I know you feel overwhelmed and under-equipped but God has given you the tremendous blessing and responsibility for shepherding your children.  Just do it. Just begin and trust that the Lord will lead you, through His Word, in the right direction. To God be the glory.

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