In an age of blended families and busy schedules, there's no greater time for us to be deeply rooted in Jesus Christ as a family. Church and Sunday school are essential, but equally if not more important, Christianity must be lived out in the home. Jesus Christ should be front and center in our lives.
We can read all the blog posts we want, but there is no magic formula for building a Christian home short of being rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ. Christian families through the ages have found joy, strength and guidance by committing time daily to read together from God's Word and pray.
HOW DO WE BEGIN?
Setting aside a regular time.
The first step toward establishing an effective family time with God is to be intentional about scheduling. Many families schedule this time after breakfast or dinner. Often, these meals naturally bring the family together and can lead conveniently into a time not only of togetherness, but also a family time with God. Other families find just before bedtime works well.
Whatever time you choose, be sure that the whole family can be together on a regular basis. Consistency is important because it shows that family time with God is a high priority.
WHAT DO WE INCLUDE?
Family time with God can include many activities, but it is important to include at least these three:
READING GOD'S WORD
There are so many ways to be intentional about daily Bible reading with your family.
DISCUSSION OF GOD'S WORD
Discussing the Bible passage your family reads is an important part of family time with God.
PRAYER— PRAISE, CONFESSION & PETITIONS
Communicating with God should be a part of your family time.
God communicates to us through His Word, but it is a one-way conversation unless we lift up our hearts to Him in prayer. Our loving heavenly Father wants us to talk to Him. He delights in our praise confession, and petitions, just like any loving father would.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Many families find it helpful to keep a prayer journal. This might include special needs of the family, neighbors, missionaries, church or government leaders. It can also provide a record of answers to prayer. Whatever the answer, we know that God hears and responds according to His will. I like praying specific prayers and keeping a prayer journal.
Some families may wish to include other things in their family time with God like singing hymns or choruses, acting out a Bible story, or doing a craft. These can be meaningful, but there is no need to begin with something so elaborate. Begin with simplicity, and be intentional and consistent. The important thing is to daily, commit to read and discuss God's Word and pray together.
It is often said that the family that prays together, stays together—and the statistics show this to be true. But this is not all. As we seek God daily, we renew our relationship with Him and with each other. He talks with us and we talk with Him. He receives our praise, confession and petitions, and we come to understand the joy of His presence.
If your family has not been intentional about scheduling a family time with God, please consider making this important time a part of your home life beginning today. In doing so, as a family you will "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (II Peter 3:18).
Here's an excellent resource to help you get started:
If you have already established a family time with God in your home, please share your tips for being intentional and keeping it consistent.
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