photo by Fabiola Medeiros
How can you make it more likely that your time of family devotion doesn’t become stale? You’ve made a decision to make this into a regular routine, to glorify God with it, but it won’t have quite the effect you want if minds are wandering or eyes are glossing over. One way is to just tweak the routine a little. In this case, move your get together to another location.
Why Is This Important?
- Change is stimulating. Some children thrive on it more than others, but even if your child prefers predictability, moving your devotion to another place will quicken the pulse and sharpen the mind. I would advise against this, however, if your child has special needs that would respond with a meltdown if you made this change.
- Change redirects your child’s focus. Sometimes sitting in the same place becomes so familiar that his mind will start to wander. The cobweb sitting in the corner may capture his attention more fully than what’s going on in front of him. Moving to another spot will help him pay more attention, especially if you remind him to focus on the reader and/or activity.
- Change wakes your teaching up. Your pulse quickens and mind sharpens a bit more, too. You’re a little more on your toes than you have been and perhaps will be more engaging with your delivery.
- Changing locations may enhance your devotion. It’s possible that just by changing where you meet that you can take advantage of what the new surroundings have to offer. Something may occur to you that wouldn’t have otherwise in the usual place - a book on the shelf with interesting pictures pertaining to your reading; pointing to something out in nature that leads to a brief discussion; engaging in some physical activity that helps you connect with your child, making devotion time a memorable, fun family time.
You can get really creative with this if you want, but the simplest of changes will go just as far as something more elaborately planned. Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with details if you’re just getting this family devotion thing off the ground. This calls for a tweaking, not a full throttle forward thrust.
Also, this is not something you would do with every devotion (unless your family, as a group, really thrives on that much change). Watch for signs of stagnation or inattention and then act accordingly. You may go weeks before you decide to shake up the routine.
Where To Go
Look at the list below for ideas. Remember, they work in reverse, too. If you meet in the living room, move to the kitchen table.
- Move from around the kitchen table after dinner to sitting in the living room around Dad.
- Go from meeting in the child’s room before bedtime to cuddling in Mom and Dad’s bed instead.
- If the weather permits, change from inside the house to the front porch, back patio or on a blanket under a nice, big tree.
- Move it from your house to a local park, where you can sit on a bench or at a picnic table enjoying lemonade from a thermos and a pack of saltines.
Use your imagination and watch the positive effects a little change can have.Homework: 1. Continue reading from the Book of Mark, or if you’ve finished that (some of you may have), move on to the Book of Luke.
2. Contact your accountability family and update them on what you’re doing.
3. Keep plotting your devotion time on the family calendar. Don’t give Satan a loophole to take advantage of because you’re not planning.
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