Maybe you’re convicted that family devotions are important, but struggle with actually pulling it off. You’re not alone. A lot of families feel too busy, too tired, and too ill equipped to spend time studying God’s word together. Its a lot like evangelism, we know we should do it, but actually doing it is difficult to start. Here are seven tips to help you get started. 1. Perspective When it comes to family devotions we need to have the right perspective. Its easy to make excuses for why we can’t do it, but this negative viewpoint can often hurt our families spiritual well being. The first step to finally beginning a family devotional time lies in changing our attitude. Remember you have the greatest power to influence your family. Try to approach your family devotional time with a positive attitude and your family will too. Go in with an open mind. You never know, you might like it.
2. You Are Called. Realize, that as a parent, you are called to spiritually lead your family. Statistics have shown mom and dad have 2-3 times more spiritual influence then any church related program. If anyone is going to have a lasting impact, it is the parents. Scriptures like Deuteronomy 6, Joshua 24, and Exodus 10, specifically name parents as those responsible for teaching their kids the Bible. God is on your side, and wants you to succeed.
3. Make a Commitment It is easy to keep telling ourselves, “we will have a devo next week.” Make a public commitment in front of your family. Tell them how important you believe this time is. Apologize for shortcomings in this area, if necessary. Know that we can all be better in the future. It might be helpful to have your family sign a contract, signifying the important commitment you are all making to spend weekly time in the word. Families can hold each other accountable to this commitment. It might not be a bad idea to even hang your contract somewhere where others can see it.
4. Set Aside Time. Our lives are so busy and hectic, it may seem like you will never get the family together for devotional time. Setting aside a specific place and time can help. Make family time just as important as other activities that we never miss. Remember the important commitment you have made to each other. This is important, devotional time should be a high priority in all of our schedules.
5. Get Help Remember you are not in this alone. One of the biggest reasons for not starting a home devo is feeling ill-equipped.You don’t need the knowledge of a Bible Scholar to teach your family about God. Remember that God can use you. He already chose you as the perfect person to train and instruct your children. That is one of the best qualifications you will ever find! Look for devo books at your local bookstore, or search the internet for family devotion resources. Then explain to your family your desire to do the best you can no matter what. They love you, and you can all extend each other grace as you go through this process together.
6. Don't Get Discouraged. Stay encouraged even if your first devotion doesn’t go as smooth as you hoped. Your teens may roll their eyes, and you may feel like it was a total disaster. Keep trying. By just having a devo you are sending an important message that this stuff is important and worth your time. Your children will see that God and his word are an important part of your lives at home and not just something you save for church. The impact of this subtle message will effect your family for generations to come.
7. Pray. Remember, God is on your side. Ask Him to bless your family devo time together. Ask Him to give you the right perspective, and the words to say. Ask Him to give you the courage to continue despite all obstacles, doubts, and worries. You will never regret trying.
About the Author: Steven is a husband, father, youth minister, and supporter of families. He enjoys helping families know God and provides resources for family encouragement at Homedevos.com