Family Devotions

Modified from Tetra Pak.

There’s a part of our church covenant that says we will maintain family devotions. Conveniently, most of us choose to ignore that. We remember the things the covenant tells us we’re not supposed to do very well and are quite good at railing against them. (In fact, the church is quite good at being known for what we’re against but not what we’re for; Alas, a different article for a different day.)

I must admit I’m all for family devotions, but I think they can be incredibly awkward. I’m about as qualified to write an article on how to do family devotions as I am to write on brain surgery, or how to create macros in Excel, or how to untangle my iPhone headphones.

I prefer to call it family worship and I know I’m supposed to engage my family in it.

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Deuteronomy 6:6-8 (I think this implies teaching your children in the context of everyday life more than anything)

In 2 Timothy 3:15, Paul says to Timothy “and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Parents have always been expected to raise their kids in the Lord and family worship is a part of that. Family worship is not a way to bribe God into making your children turn out right. It isn’t us keeping up our part of the contract, binding God to do His part. Family worship should be just that, parents worshiping the Lord with their kids. Contrary to popular belief, kids aren’t dumb. They can spot when something is fake. Worship must be led by hearts that treasure Christ.

Humbly, here are some tips:

  1. Try it at a meal time. We’ve often tried to do our worship time before bed. What ends up happening is we get rushed, the kids need to be in bed, so it ends up getting skipped. Read a few verses and say a prayer. If you’re not in the habit of eating with your family, change that.
  2. Sing a song. We hear devotion and think bible study. Worship makes us think of singing. Kids love to sing and so many precious truths can be passed down in song.
  3. Find a good resource. The Jesus Storybook Bible from Sally Lloyd Jones is one of the greatest things ever. I love it and so does my whole family. There are tons of aids and resources out there; you have no reason not to take advantage of them.
  4. Forgive yourself. There will be times that you will completely fall on your face and you know what?Your children will forgive you.  Keep on trying.
  5. Confess. Family worship can be an amazing time to let the Word do surgery on your heart. It will go a long ways if you get in the habit of confessing and repenting from your sins in front of your children.
Resources for Family Worship:
Here are some tips from John Piper about family worship
This is a helpful article with other good resources
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