It is the last day of our calendar year. This is a day that traditionally we use to reflect on what we have done this past year and set resolutions as to what we intend to do this next year. One of the greatest resolutions that our families could make for the new year is to have daily devotions.
What are family devotions? Family Devotions is a time where the whole family sits down to learn the Word of God. In a society where the education of our children has so often been designated to another, we are seeing a diminishing of devotions with the family. Yet this is one of the most valuable things you can do as a family together.
As a father, I have been given a mandate from God that I am to teach my children good doctrine. “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.” (Proverbs 4:1-2) Therefore it is important for me as a father not to shrug this duty off to another. Sunday School is a wonderful tool, but it should be a supplement to your daily devotions, not a replacement for it. As the head of my household, I must take the lead and teach my children good doctrine.
It is incredibly important that mom be in devotions as well. This is a time when the whole family comes together around the Word and her presence should be there to show her support for what the father is teaching the children. This signals to our children that mom and dad are on the same page. This unity projects both security and direction to your children.
This new year, I challenge you to take up the task of daily devotions with your family. As you do so here are few tips that will be helpful.
#1 BE CONSISTENT
This is on the head of the house to manage. Your family should not have to wonder if you will be doing devotions, or when. It should be predetermined. As a father there will be days that you do not feel like conducting family devotions, yet you must power through. Inconsistency in family devotions will weaken your children’s perspective on the importance of the Bible and gathering around the Scriptures. Your children need to see that reading the Word of God together is a priority and not an afterthought. You need to choose a time that works best for you so that you can be consistent.
#2 BRING A LESSON
The goal of family devotions is to teach your family good doctrine. Therefore, we would do well to prepare for what we will teach them. The lesson does not need to be long at all, mine are usually 5 minutes or less, but it is helpful to be prepared.
#3 ADDRESS ISSUES WITH SCRIPTURE
My wife is around my children far more than I am. She will come to me at times and tell me that the kids are struggling in their behavior, or their attitude or in some character trait. Having been made aware of the issue I will generally prepare a lesson for devotions on that topic and teach my children from God’s Word what we are truy supposed to be doing.
#4 MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
Take time in family devotions to memorize Scripture. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11) We need to teach our children to memorize Scripture and the best way to do so is to lead by example. When we do devotions, we work on Scripture memory and my wife, and I both find ways to make working on our memorization fun for the children.
#5 SING TOGETHER
Sing praise to the Lord as a family in devotions. This will do wonders for the spirit of your family. My children look very much forward to the times that we sing together as a family.
I hope that you will be challenged to have a consistent time of family devotions with your household this year. May God bless your family and give you a prosperous new year in 2022.