Why Have a Family Time with God?
I once thought we didn’t have time for family devotions. But one day I read a report that said the average family watches over 20 hours of television a week! I wondered if TV time was eating up hours my family could be using to become more like Christ. So, I did a quick check of our TV habits and realized we were watching at least 15 hours of television a week. I was shocked!
I led the way for better family time. I quit watching one of my favorite shows. That gave us time to relax at dinner and talk about how our day went. As we began sharing our joys and concerns, we were soon praying together and reading the Bible together. Now, that family time has become one of the most important things we do together.
Changing habits is difficult, it takes time, but it can be done. Here’s how we did it in our home:
God has really blessed that time of sharing, praying, and Bible reading. Our family devotions have become the foundation of our relationships with each other and with God.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
Reprinted with permission | Pastor Jeremy Sweatt | Farmington Avenue Baptist Church, West Hartford, CT
Come and Gather: Family Time with God
Introducing Come and Gather: Family Time with God, or what we lovingly refer to as Gather.
Gather is a lovely, 35-page, daily devotional centered around families enjoying time together with God and each other.
This 27-day devotional is divided into 3 parts:
Part One: Days 1-5, is written specifically with husbands and wives in mind. In this part of Gather, husbands and wives will explore 5 Signs of a Functional Family.
5 Signs of a Functional Family includes:
Part Two: Days 6-20, is written with the whole family in mind. It's A Walk Through God’s Word. From Genesis to Revelation we will discuss subjects like God's mercy and protection, being humble, dealing with difficulties, having a teachable spirit, dependence on God, and much more.
Part Three: Days 21-27, is a Men of God Character Study. We'll learn character traits that every Christin should strive to demonstrate in their life straight from characters in God's Word.
At the end of Gather you'll find a place for your family to record specific prayer requests. I love being specific with my prayer request and seeing God answer in specific ways. Recording the answers, as well as the requests, is a great way to help your children see God working in your lives.
Join the movement today and download Gather for free toady!
How are you intentional about family time with God in your home?
Being a teacher has always granted me the summertime to take a break from the hectic schedule of teaching, sports and school calendars. Our family has enjoyed this time in many different ways. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I would plan unique, free activities for each week of the summer. We would pick a special Bible program to use in family devotions or put in place an incentive plan, complete with rewards, for reading and personal devotions. Such treasured memories have been made during these times.
This summer, as I prayed about what we should do with these precious few weeks, the Lord led me in a different direction. Instead of planning actives and trying to fill our days, God challenged my heart to look for the purpose behind each activity we would plan or do. Instead of trying to keep everyone busy with do, do, do, God was saying to me, "Take time to be." As I was praying over this, the idea of an acrostic came to my mind. I am using the acrostic SLiCES as a target to aim at and keep our family on track this summer.
Here are our S L i C E S of summer goals:
5 studies we are doing with our kiddos this summer:
True Woman 201- Interior Design: Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
We're doing this study with our girls ages 22, 20, 18, and 14.
"When we step into God’s plan for womanhood, we step into the great adventure of discovering who we are created to be. The greatest display of God’s glory, the greatest wholeness of personhood, the greatest joy of human relationships, and the greatest fruitfulness in ministry come about when we embrace and celebrate His design.
In this Bible study for women, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Mary Kassian delve into Titus 2 to celebrate redeemed womanhood. Exploring 10 “design elements” of biblical womanhood, they will lead you on a 10-week journey of discovering what a beautiful heart looks like, and how it leads to a beautiful life.
Each week is divided into five lessons that provide opportunity for group interaction and delving deep into Scripture.
The Lord wants to come in and do a radical renovation of your heart. He wants to change you into a godly woman from the inside out. If you let Him, He’ll give you an extreme makeover... a new interior design. Why wait? Begin your renovation today." --goodreads
Lies Girls Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free by Dannah Gresh and Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
We're doing this study with our girls ages 11, 8 and 6.
"Today’s girls face a number of challenges we never dealt with at their age. From skyrocketing anxiety rates to bullying on social media, the Enemy’s lies are everywhere. How do you help the girl you love walk in freedom?
Equip her with Truth. Dannah Gresh, author of Secret Keeper Girl and Lies Young Women Believe (coauthored with Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth) brings you Lies Girls Believe. This fun, easy-to-read book engages your daughter in the twenty most important truths she needs. She’ll help solve problems using fun sidebars and it’s packed with wisdom, quizzes, games, exploded quotes, and graphics to help her absorb the message.
For the best results, use the accompanying Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe which invites you to critically examine the lies girls believe and discover how to set your daughter free. It also helps facilitate discussion between you and your daughter." --goodreads
Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science by Louie Giglio.
We're doing this study with our 4-11 year olds.
"It’s impossible to out-imagine God. He orchestrates time, creates light, and speaks things into existence—from the largest stars to the smallest starfish. God is a powerful, purposeful, personal, unparalleled Creator.
Each devotion features a “Be Amazed” section with fascinating facts, hands-on activities, and a closing prayer. Based on Louie Giglio’s popular messages “Indescribable” and “How Great Is Our God,” Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science will help kids discover the incredible creation of our indescribable God." --goodreads
Heroes of the Bible by Joshua Cooley.
We're doing this study with our boys ages 13 and 9.
"Ask any 12-year-old kid to describe a hero, and you will get some of the following answers: a superstar athlete, a soldier on the front lines, or a guy in a cape who can jump over buildings.
Control Girl, lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From Seven Women in the Bible by Shannon Popkin.
A study with friends for accountability.
"Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don't match your version of perfect. Tension, anger, fear—it all begins with a heart that craves control. When your vision of how life should be replaces God's vision, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts. Thankfully, there is a better way.
"With personal vulnerability, biblical depth, powerful personal illustrations, and pointed application questions, Shannon Popkin reveals how seven women of the Bible can teach us how to surrender our will to God's design for our future." —Carol Kent, speaker and author of Becoming a Woman of Influence
"Control Girl is a penetrating look at how selfishness and self-protectiveness wreck lives—and why surrender and trust are God's life-giving pathways to true freedom and joy." —Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author and Revive Our Hearts teacher and host" --goodreads
Listening references: Focus on the Family, Adventures in Odyssey podcast and Radio Theater.
So, how will you be intentional about taking time to be with your kiddos this summer?
It's our responsibility as parents to teach our children to be more like Christ.
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REBELLION Proverbs 29:1
RESPECT FOR PARENTS Proverbs 20:20
SCHOOL WORK Proverbs 1:7; 3:13-19; 8; 9:10; 16:16
SEX EDUCATION Proverbs 2:16-22; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 9:13-18; 23:26-28
Specifically Girls Proverbs 2:6-19
Specifically Boys Proverbs 5:8-13; 6:23-29
SHARING Proverbs 11:24-26; 22:9; 28:27
SNEAKY Proverbs 5:21; 15:3 & 11
STEALING Proverbs 15:16; 21:7; 22:22 & 23; 29:24
TATTLING Proverbs 11:13; 18:8; 20:19
TEACHING YOUR CHILD Proverbs 4:1-27; 22:6
TEASING Proverbs 11:12; 14:31; 15:1; 17:5
THOUGHTS Proverbs 16:3
TRAINING Proverbs 22:6
TROUBLEMAKERS Proverbs 24:19 & 20
UNDERSTANDING Proverbs 2:1-11; 3:3-6; 4:1, 5 & 7; 9:4-6 & 10; 10:13 & 23
VALUES Proverbs 8:1-36; 11:4
VANDALISM Proverbs 22:28; 23:10