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:
The Bible is an exciting book! It is filled with true stories of God's heroes, down-to-earth advice, spiritual insight and most importantly, the plan of salvation. It is the primary way that God communicates to us today. It is essential that we feed on His Word regularly.
Reading God's Word Together
There are so many ways to be intentional about daily Bible reading with your family.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."
Reading God's Word together is also an excellent time to begin sharing the basic truths of salvation with the younger members of your family as well as memorizing Scripture together.
Discussion of God's Word
Discussing the Bible passage your family reads is an important part of family time with God.
With positive, prayerful leadership, a time of discussion will provide an opportunity to grow together spiritually as a family.
Prayer is Praise, Confession and 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.
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).
If you have already established a family time with God in your home, please share your tips for being intentional and keeping it consistent.
4/2/2019 09:11:20 am
The challenge of family time with God becomes even greater as kids get older and busier, but I would argue that it is even more important during those days.
4/2/2019 02:22:55 pm
I totally agree Michele! When you enter those teen years, and they get involved in all kinds of extracurricular activities, it really gets challenging! Challenging, yet even more important. Sometimes I think Satan uses the busyness of life as one of his greatest tools.
Very great advice and clearly laid out to give multiple ways that a family can gather and worship God at home. It's definitely an area the enemy wants to tear down and this is the absolute best weapon against satan is in strengthening our homes in Christ Jesus.....AMEN!!!!
4/2/2019 02:27:02 pm
So true April! He would for sure like to make it as inconvenient as possible for us to have a family time with God and grow together spiritually. Tearing down the Christian family is at the top of his list. Sometimes, I think we have to look at our busy schedules and re-evaluate.
4/2/2019 10:24:45 am
I find it so challenging to stay consistent with family Bible time at home. We do really good for a while and then busy lives disrupt our routine and we fall off track. Thanks for this encouraging post to get back to it again!
4/2/2019 02:32:56 pm
Katrina, thanks for stoping by! I visited your blog and it's lovely! :) It IS difficult to be consistent! Kind of like me and my diet.:-/ I do really, really well for a while, then I fall off the wagon. It's cake's fault! But then we just have to hop back up, dust ourselves off, and get back on that wagon. Today is a good day to start being intentional, again, whether it's my family time with God, or my diet. :) Get back on that wagon!
4/2/2019 10:18:55 pm
This is such an important part of family life. No matter how busy we are, we still try to make time for family Bible time. " Some questions may seem off subject, but this may be a good indicator of issues your child is facing. " Oh, this is so true. Never turn a child's question away. It is so important that they know you are available to them. Sharing and Pinning!
4/4/2019 11:05:33 am
Thank you so much Angela! Listening is so much more important than speaking sometimes. It's important that we are available to listen. I agree!
4/3/2019 12:00:13 pm
Such an important family practice. Now that my kids are teens it doesn't happen every night, but when we have dinner together we are currently reading passages from a book. Then we always talk about what we learned at church and regularly share based on what is going on around us. laurensparks.net
4/4/2019 11:10:02 am
I love these ideas Lauren, especially about incorporating other things like other books, church, and what's going on in our lives. I really like the reading of other books as well as the Bible. It's kind of like your very own little book club. :) Which makes me think that family time with God could be approached that way— like a book club, and the book is God's Word. <—— that's beautiful!
4/4/2019 11:14:10 am
Boma, I really like being specific with prayer request! For instance praying for the missionaries our church supports... Let's not just say, "God help all the missionaries..." How will we ever see that answered? Let's get specific! Let's get to know them, get to know their needs. We know God knows their needs already, but we need to know them too. Then, when we pray specifically, for specific needs, we can clearly see specific answers to those prayers. This routine applies to all aspects of our prayer life.
4/3/2019 08:09:48 pm
I love this (as always!) I struggle with getting started in a natural way. It feels so forced and cheesy. I long for more family time with God, but I struggle with starting. Maybe I just need to do something and let it be what it is!
4/4/2019 11:15:47 am
Thank you Rebecca! I really like the book club idea that we talked about in the comments here. :)
4/4/2019 12:09:37 pm
Yes Danell! Demonstrating and including our kids in the practice of our faith will help them make it their own. :) And that's the one, biggest and most important thing I think I've learned as a parent—at lease it's one of them. Our kids need to leave our home someday, whether it's out the door to college or just to make a life of their own, knowing what they believe, AND WHY! If they don't know the what and why, then it's just dad and mom's religion.
4/4/2019 12:12:18 pm
Thank you Rebecca! It's tough, I know, especially as they get older and involved in extracurricular activities. Don't give up!
This is some really great information for families! When our kids were little, I also found it really helpful to be sure to live out my faith. I tried to be the example that Christ would have me be. There were times when I failed, but then, that actually gave me the opportunity to apologize and ask forgiveness, while doing the same for others.
4/4/2019 02:49:03 pm
And that failure and apology is in itself another opportunity to live out our faith and show that it is real!
4/4/2019 02:53:06 pm
Oh Sue! I can still remember the first "big" family vaca we took, years ago. Trying to save $$$$ we all (2 adults & 4 kids) pilled into one hotel room. I did not live out my faith on that vaca! However, I learned a valuable lesson <—— vacas are not all about ME! LOL
4/8/2019 02:30:11 pm
Great advice and ideas! Family worship is so incredibly important! Things that happened during family worship still make up the bulk of some of my favorite memories from when our daughters were young.
4/8/2019 02:34:26 pm
Yes, Anita! It's a great opportunity to REALLY get to know your children. :) It's also a good time to let them see you live out your faith so that in time they will make your faith their faith and part of their personal story, <— THIS is so important!
4/10/2019 09:05:45 pm
Congratulations you are the spotlight post tomorrow over at my linkup #TuneInThursday I am also letting everyone know you have a linkup - let's see if we can get more people linking up with you too. Blessings and I love your blog and theme - I am all about encouragement!
4/10/2019 09:25:12 pm
Oh wow Debbie, thank you so much! Thanks for the feature and thanks for getting the word out about our link-up! We're encouragement buddies! :) Thank you!
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