An Intimidating Idea. An Inspiring Story.

I don’t think of myself as easily intimidated but there is one phrase that’s always left me feeling inadequate and overwhelmed: Family Devotions. Family Devotions conjures up images of the family on The Little House on the Prairie all sitting around the living room in their homemade dresses respectfully answering their father’s questions. My family isn’t quite like that.

Another thought that “family devotions” brings to my mind is catechisms. I don’t know about your family but I think that if I tried to make my kids memorize theology in the form of questions and answers, I’d have a revolt on my hands.

And yet if our relationship with Jesus is central to our lives, if he truly is our Lord, Master, Savior, and God, then shouldn’t we talk about him and his teaching with our kids? Over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you some of the things that have and haven’t worked in our family. Maybe you will be able to learn from our mistakes (they’ve been plentiful) and our successes (by God’s grace we’ve had some of those too).

Today, I want to share with you a story that I received in an email from a guy who goes to The Crossing. I won’t share his name because I don’t want to embarrass him so you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that he’s a regular guy. He’s not a spiritual giant at all. Just a normal guy trying to be a good husband and father to his wife and step daughters. I hope this family’s story inspires you to take a step of faith.

Our family (my wife, my step-kids and I) came to the family Christmas event.  It was for kids a little younger than ours (11 and 13), but we enjoyed it nonetheless.  As a result of the book and devotional, we have been transformed as a family.

When we started at The Crossing (June 2011), it was a fight every Sunday with our 13 year old to come to church at all, and she would just sit with us and pretend to listen or even sleep I think a few times honestly.  This continued until this December.  Since the beginning of the devotional and having a conversation with God every day as a part of our family, things have dramatically changed and in a hurry. Our teenager, has decided to go to her class on Sundays and during this past Monday night’s devotional asked if she could be the one who led the prayer.  I am so thankful that Jesus and the church have finally made it into her heart.

All this being said, I want to continue and hold their attention to Jesus.  I have looked at daily family devotionals and have come up with a make shift plan to read the bible together at a daily devotional continued into the new year with our family.

I don’t want to lose their interest though.  My meaning is there are a lot of begats in the Old Testament that is going to be over their head or put them into daydream mode in a hurry. I want them to have read the Bible, but want them wanting to read it as well. I have been fairly successful in keeping their attention and being able to relate the Word to their daily lives and relevance of today, but if you have a structured plan in place that I could follow or know of one, I would appreciate the help.  

A dad with a spiritually disinterested kid doesn’t give up but keeps trying to reach out to her. And what does God use to stir her heart? Family devotions. Really? Pretty cool.

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