“How does your family do devotions?”we asked the older, wiser father who sat with us.
His answer was filled with grace; “First of all, we must remember: we are all sinners. And also, what this will look like for one family will be different for another family.”
And with that he preceded to share how his family does family devotions and how his family sometimes gets distracted and struggles to etch out the time and how the mere act of struggling to do this as a family is a refining process.
And those words were such an encouragement to this young family. We know that there isn’t one correct way to do this thing called family devotions. We know there are factors; ages, personalities and seasons in life that will affect the way family devotions are manifested in a family. But to hear it was so refreshing.
To hear from one who has been on this journey longer than us that is still a struggle to balance it out and that it is also a beautiful, worthwhile venture to do as a family was encouraging.
Our family devotions time is done at the end of the day; after pajamas are on, after teeth have been brushed, after one chapter of our read aloud has been read and one picture book has been devoured – we sit together, sometimes the four of us, but also sometimes just one parent with two impressionable little beings. We read through a page or two of our Bible story book. We talk about the Lord Jesus, about how He is seen in the stories read. Sometimes we’ll pause while reading to ask questions of the child whose mind wanders to see if he’s keeping pace. Sometimes we have them repeat word for word what we are reading, following along only seconds behind us to help engage their minds more fully.
Our time spent in family devotions is very simple, and at this stage it is what’s necessary to ensure sustainability. I think a simple 5 minute time of coming together as a family faithfully each day has much more impact than elaborate plans that don’t last more than a few weeks.
Our goal in our short time together is to point to Christ through each story, to bring everything back to Him.
Once the Bible reading and discussion time has wound down we all take turns praying. We’ve used several different methods to encourage the boys to pray for others, but simply put we ask that they pray for our family and that they pray for one or two other people outside of our family. The innocent, sincere prayers of a child are precious and so beautiful to hear and to hear brother pray for brother is, I’m convinced, an act that bonds hearts deeply.
Once prayers are done they grab one more cup of water, exchange hugs and kisses all around and are tucked in. This is how family devotions are manifesting themselves in our family these days. Simple, sustainable and focused on Christ through each story.
How are family devotions done in your family?
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