Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Step By Step To Family Devotions - Prepare Your Children’s Hearts

Did you pray daily last week for God’s guidance, equipping and counsel as you prepared your heart for doing devotions with your family? Have you dedicated your time and efforts to following Him? If you did, then surely God is working within you in a mighty way. He will not disappoint His children who seek and humble themselves before Him.

If you sputtered in your praying, don’t give up! God sees your heart, but wants your commitment. Put one foot in front of the other. Pray today. Set a specific time to pray tomorrow. Keep dedicating yourself and your family daily. And remember, unless you’re doing this solo, pray with your spouse.

The next thing I want you to work on for this week is preparing your child’s heart. Children do better if they know what’s coming. If he starts off by copping an attitude, he has a week to get used to the idea. However, I suspect that if your child lives in a home where it is obvious his parents love Jesus, he’ll appreciate what you're planning to do.

Schedule a family meeting where you’ll spend about 15 minutes discussing your decision to hold regular family devotions. You may need to explain what devotions are if your child isn’t familiar with them. Begin by explaining that God commands parents to teach their children about Him, and that you want to be obedient to God because you love Him.

Devotions will be a time where the family will be able to spend special time together learning about God and what it means to be a Christian. Explain that the devotion shouldn’t take any longer than 10-15 minutes to begin with, but that those minutes together are going to be dedicated to God. That means no TV on in the background, phone calls can be picked up by the answering machine, and friends will have to wait.

Next, determine how often you are going to hold your devotions. I urge you to be realistic here. I would rather you be successful with once or twice a week than consistently fail by trying to hold it daily. The step-by-step process will incorporate bumping it up a notch once you have established a regular habit. If you go with once or twice a week, that’s once or twice a week more than what you were doing before.

Finally, pick your start date, beginning next week, and physically write your devotion day(s) onto your family calendar. Include the time you're meeting, if you need to. You can involve your child with this part of it. He can write it in or put a sticker on the day(s) you’ve chosen to hold your devotions. If you’re a busy, busy person and apt to forget, write your day(s) down in every calendar you come across in your day. Plaster sticky notes all over the place, if that will help.

For the rest of the week, briefly bring up the upcoming event in casual conversation. Describe how excited you are. If you’re nervous about it, say so, but that you can’t wait to get going with it. If you think it’ll work, make it a contest between you and your child as to who will be the first each day to remind the other about the upcoming devotions. If your child pokes you in the eye at 6:47 in the morning while you’re still in bed and whispers, “Don’t for-ge-et, we’re having family devotions next Tuesday!”, you’ve accomplished exactly what you’ve set out to do this week.

Homework: 1. Continue praying daily for God’s equipping, leading and counsel.
2. Schedule a family meeting, preferably the first of the week
3. At the meeting, determine how often you’re going to hold family devotions and what day you’re going to start
4. Involve everyone in putting the date(s) on the family calendar
5. Talk it up every day for the rest of the week

Heavenly Father, we praise your name and seek to glorify You in everything we do as a family. We pray that You prepare our hearts for your Word. Lord, we even pray for an excitement as the day for our devotions draws near! Equip us, Lord. Show us how to do battle against the world and bring our children to your throne so they may know You as the awesome God that You are. We dedicate ourselves to You and pray our efforts are pleasing in your sight. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

(If you want to plan this week what you're reading from the Bible next week, go ahead. Otherwise, I'll give you a place to start in next Monday's post.)

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