None of us anticipated this world-wide health crisis. Who could have even imagined an Executive Order resulting in children and students staying home from school, many adults staying home from work, and family structure and schedule needing major adjustments? Do you think that our God can help us realize blessings through these in-home changes?
More face-to-face interaction and significant communication! (According to a recent study, “the average parent spends just three-and-a-half minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children!”)
More parent-guided life lessons!
More opportunities for parents to really get to know their children!
The list could go on!
But perhaps the greatest blessing that can/should occur during this time of challenge is in the increased spiritual leadership in the home, by dads, and by moms. Certainly, a Christian church, a Christian school, Sunday School, and the like, are available and intended to assist moms and dads. But please note, these have always and only existed to assist. They have been available as “tools” for parents to assist in raising their children spiritually.
Right now, it’s pretty much totally in the hands of parents to lead their children to Jesus. It’s pretty much up to Christian parents to gather the family for worship, even if it’s online, live-streamed or recorded. It’s pretty much up to Christian parents to demonstrate to their children that God and his Word and worship are number one in their lives. This is done through making home-worship, in various forms, top priority.
There are some outstanding websites to assist you in this. See a previous post entitled “Online Devotion Resources” to discover some worship, devotion and study options.
But just maybe the best way to demonstrate the importance of keeping God first is for the family leader to lead in prayer and devotion. It may seem a bit scary for some at first, but with a little practice, or on the “job” trying, I think you’ll find that your comfort level will increase. Following are a few ideas to also consider:
Why have home devotions?
- Jeremiah 23:28b “Let the one who has my Word speak it faithfully.” (Speak the Word to your family.)
- Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do no exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Instruct the family with God’s Word.)
- Luke 11:28 “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (The family who hears God’s Word will be blessed.)
- John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth.” (The family who hears the God’s Word receives the truth.)
- Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Lead the family closer to the Lord with God’s Word.)
- Ephesians 6: 10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (The family who hears God’s Word is strengthened, including when tempted by Satan.)
- Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation.” (The family in God’s Word shares the rich lasting joy of the knowledge and promise of heaven.)
When might we have home devotions?
- After supper
- At bedtime
- First thing in the morning
- Right now, during these adjusted times, be flexible, but work to be regular
- Any time that works for you
- Apply Biblical truths to your child’s life.
- Ask lots of questions.
- Have fun with the children. Involve them.
- Refer to devotional truths throughout the day, and beyond.
- Include the children when reading passages.
- Possibly transition from reading a devotion to speaking/telling the devotion using your own words. Use a devotion book as the source for your ideas.
- Use selected Bible verses (such as verses from the Psalms, or Proverbs, parables, or reading a portion of one of the gospels- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
- Devotional books (see resources below)
- Catechism (It’s a great resource that can be adapted to nearly any age; 10 commandments, prayer, who is God, etc.)
- Sing-along (if you are so inclined)
- Family prayer
- Each member adds what is on his/her heart.
- Each member prays for things that begin with an assigned letter of the alphabet…
- Each member prays for things that begin with the first letter of his/her name.
- Special topics (items in the news, what’s happening on social media, etc.)
- Sickness or injury
- Unexpected blessings
- Online: whataboutjesus.com
- Online: timeofgrace.org
- Online: wels.net
- Online ordering through Northwestern Publishing House: https://online.nph.net/
- Little Visits… series at NPH
- 365 Devotions for Kids
- Family Time, A Collection of 98…
- Adventure Bible Book of Devotions
- Jesus Our Family Guest
- 5 Minute Bible Studies for Teens
- Stand Your Ground – Devotions for Teens by Teens
- PLUS, many other devotions for moms, dads, couples, seasons of the year, etc.