What Every Parent Should Know about Family Devotions
Often, Christian parents are strongly encouraged to be the primary disciple makers of their children. We are reminded time and time again of the importance of leading our children to read the Bible, pray, and worship God. If you’re struggling to lead your family in devotions, I want to encourage you today with some thoughts that every Christian parent should know about family worship time.
It’s easier than it sounds. Donald Whitney, who wrote the book, “Family Worship,” reminds us, “Basically, there are three elements to family worship: read the Bible, pray, and sing.” For some reason, the idea of “worshipping as a family” conjures up the idea of leading an entire worship service as if we were in front of the church congregation. Let’s be clear, your family devotions do not have to include all the elements of a worship service. It can be much more informal. You can do them at the dinner table. You can even, if you want, wear your pajamas. Let me encourage you today that leading family devotions is easier than it sounds.
You don’t have to be a Bible scholar. Many parents balk at the idea of leading family devotions because they feel they don’t know enough about the Bible to be able to teach it to their children. While we ought to be studying the Bible personally and learning more, we do not need to have a Bible degree to teach our children the ways of the Lord. The Spirit of God leads us into truth through the reading of God’s Word. You can certainly clarify meanings of words or passages, but you do not need to delve into the Greek or Hebrew. Simply share observations and allow God to guide the conversation. No matter your level of Biblical understanding, you can lead your family by reading the Bible together and praying.
Your kids will appreciate it more than you think. One of my biggest fears is that my kids will not enjoy or take seriously our time of family worship. While it is true that I have been met with eye rolls when I share that it is time to read together, I know that my kids appreciate knowing that my wife and I take our faith seriously and are not merely church-goers. I know that they learn because I have heard them repeat things I have said to them or things the Bible says that we have read together. It may not seem, in the moment, that family devotions are making a difference in the lives of your kids, but I assure you that they are paying attention and watching how God and the Bible are a priority in your life and the life of your family.
Consistency is key. To be effective, you must be consistent. But don’t let that deter you. The encouragement is that even if you fail once or twice or you take a week where you just cannot have family devotions, the consistent effort to read the Bible, pray, and sing together as a family will make a difference. Just like I said earlier, your kids appreciate it when it is a priority. Maybe you cannot have daily family devotions. Perhaps you must do it weekly or even every other week. Pick a time and be consistent. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference the consistency will make in the life of your family.
I hope these thoughts encouraged you today and I pray that your family will be blessed by having regular, consistent times of family worship.