I’ve been sharing some thoughts with you to help you in planning family devotions. You know, being absolutely intentional about pouring into your family spiritual truths as the foundation for everything.
You can review the first three posts here, here, and here.
My desire is to help you in making this school year (even if you don’t have kids in school) count for Christ. Parenting with goals. Living by priorities from God.
Additional Things to Consider for Spiritual Training in your Home.
“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,..” Deuteronomy 11:18-20 (NIV)
Planned Devotional Time and Seizing the Moments as You Go.
Let’s look at other important components, in addition to reading the BIble, that you may want to have in your home to be mindful of the opportunities throughout the day for spiritual training.
This can take place in planned devotional times as well as being mindful to use moments as you go to teach and to learn together and to enjoy together. Really, our minds should be conscious of allll day long spiritual investments.
Look at the above verses from Deuteronomy again…being intentional to teach, to reflect on God’s love and goodness and His Word when we wake up, ride in the car, walk together, eat, when we lie down… all day seizing opportunities to impart God’s way of assessing situations and seeing Him in everything.
- Praise music played? Throughout the day as background music? Played during devotion for your family to sing together?
- Do your kids play instruments? Do you want this to be a part of your devotional time? (It’s okay if they’re in the learning stages. You might need to brace yourself to relax and enjoy this time? LOL) Do you want them to jam together and play as a band – at home, or for serving purposes?
- In our home, we’d put a verse to a made-up or familiar tune, sing it over and over, and record it. I must say that I’ve never regretted this. Priceless!
- Do you ever “Stop the World” and just dance with your children? Laugh. Video it. You’ll be glad you did. Make laughter abound in your home.
- What does “be joyful”mean to you? Is your home joyful?
- What does “make a joyful noise” mean to you? Is this happening within your home?
Choose Books for Specific Emphasis.
- Hymnal Lyrics – there are books that journal the incredible stories behind these powerful words.
- Great books that steer their heart and introduce new passions for Christ?
- Biographies of great men and women, missionaries, leaders, champions for Christ. Devotional books? Story books.
- Or, just reading books as you hear about them from your friends. (Keep a running list of good books.)
- Here’s just two of my favorites: Stories for the Heart by Alice Gray. (Please note. When I think of this book and the sequel, More Stories for the Heart, I think of how I cried many times from my heart being tender and broken. I believe it is important and wonderful for your children to see you cry and be moved by stories that show a tender-heart. This book had profound stories that we all enjoyed together.)
- Will there be a time of scripture memory together?
- Acting it out? reciting together? putting it to music?
- Will you participate in memorizing, having them hold you accountable too?
- Videoing it? (It’s such a sweet idea to keep a recording of your kids memorizing scripture. You’ll treasure these!)
- Many years we had a chart on the wall, as we memorized large passages of scripture, that we colored in as each family member memorized.
- Other years, for accountability for me, mostly, allowance was wrapped into this (and chores, reading books – and other things I needed to be more consistent with checking up on)
- We’ve also had notebooks with scripture memory, fill-in-the blank passages,.. and a master list in the front of the verses we wanted to memorize that year.
- Here’s the thing – just ask the Lord what is for YOUR family THIS year.
- What will your prayer time look like throughout your family’s day?
- Praying on knees at bedtime with kids
- Praying routinely during your devotional time?
- Will you have a prayer list? needs from missionaries and their support letters? for friends/family? What/who will you be intentional to pray for?
- Are you including the kids in praying immediately when you hear of a prayer request?
- Do you huddle together to pray over needs within the family?
- A gratefulness journal to record blessings? Will this be sporadic or part of a routine?
- Are you teaching your family to pray with others, to pray over others, to intercede for others?
- Do you stop the world and gather the family together to pray for someone’s needs? Make this part of your overall plan.
- Have you ever had a child weep in the car over something and stopped the world to pull over (safely) and hold them? and pray with them over their hurt heart? (just throwing a thought out there for you to see an idea of being so mindful of prayer that you stop the world and your child actually lives that)
- Do your kids hear your perspective of being grateful for God’s goodness and His provisions – even during difficult times?
- Do your kids expect God to be faithful and therefore rest in HIm, not worrying – through knowing and hearing the Word and through you actively teaching them to record blessings He provides?
Plan for Specific Emphasis to Meet Needs.
- Each year, I ask the Lord, “What is the theme or emphasis you want for family THIS year? What passion do you want to be all over our home this year?”
- Remember, your plan will look different than mine…or anyone else’s…so don’t compare.
- What kind of discussions, passions, interests do you want to be intentional about this year within your home?
- One year our emphasis was on history; another on understanding geography; so our devotional books matched these.
- Another year our emphasis was on understanding how to help others in times of need; Getting over our own insecurities that prevent us from just simply obeying the voice of the Lord.
- An excellent book for the whole family on learning what to do/not to do in situations that might seem bigger than us, when others are hurting is The Art of Helping. We read this together. We still use it as a reference manual.
- Missions, character, geography, biographies of great men and women of faith, books that show how to help others in difficult times
- One book we read together at lunchtime recently when we had an emphasis on missions and seeing the power of God is The Insanity of God. Amazing!
- Keep a list of good books. I have a list on my phone. Friends are always saying, “You should read this book.” You can go to my book list here.
- You know what, you don’t have to have a theme. Just be intentional to be a reader, to include your kids in reading, and just read. No theme needed.
In the next post, I’ll be talking about Intentionally Living It Out. You know, making part of your family’s spiritual training be serving others. You don’t want to miss it.
What are some things you’ll be intentional about this year, within your home, to impact your family spiritually?
Rhonda ilookforwardtohearingYOURideas ellis
One thing to really focus on every year! That’s so much better than being overwhelmed by trying to focus on everything. Good thought.