Do you have consistent devotions with your family? I don’t. I’m okay with that, and here’s why!
For years, I have felt condemned, inadequate and ashamed that we’ve never really pulled off doing a daily or even weekly family devotions. We’ve done devotions here and there, but it’s never been a consistent thing.
Of course, Satan (our accuser) saw fit to bring our lack of family devotions up every night as I tried to go to sleep. I would lie down after a long day and rehearse all the ways I failed — one of them being the fact that I didn’t get around to DOING devotions with my boys. He is insidious when he attacks, isn’t he?
Then it dawned on me: Having devotions should NOT be my goal, but teaching my children to be devoted to Christ should be. Have devotions does not necessarily equate to being devoted. But once you are walking in devotion to Him, having devotions becomes a way of life — a part of who you are — not just a 30-minute segment of the day in which you can check off and feel good about yourself.
We can’t just check it off our list of things to do and put Him away as we put our Bibles back on the shelf. God is more about our hearts (our devotion) to Him than being able to get up at 5 am to DO devotions. He longs for relationship with us and to be a part of our everyday lives.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says that God wants the commandments to be on our hearts, and then we can impress them upon our children’s hearts. When His commandments are in our hearts, we are able to bring a Scripture to bear what they are experiencing in life.
Our ultimate goal is not doing devotions to secure outward obedience. Our ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere in which God can reach their hearts and help them learn what it means to BE devoted. It’s not manufactured. It’s simply doing life with our children. We constantly orient their lives to the Scriptures!
I believe we need to be reading and studying Scripture (rightly dividing the Word of Truth). How else will we be able to impress the Scriptures upon our children as they live their lives? But we just cannot go through our day and think we’ve done our duty by reading the Psalm or the Proverb of the day. Instead, take one passage, and let His Spirit speak to you. Talk about it with others in front of your children. Let them see you wrestle with the Scripture. Talk about it in the carpool pickup line, when you are at the grocery store, and when you are going for a walk.
I am no longer a slave to my list of what it looks like to be a good parent, and I no longer carry around guilt or shame for not being able to have a consistent family devotion. I am, however, good at finding ways to help the kids apply Scripture to what is going on in their lives at any given moment. I look for those “kairos” moments when heaven intersects earth and opens up the Scriptures in a living way. That way the kids can learn to APPLY it to their lives and not just memorize it. Memorization is good, but what good is it to memorize Scripture if you don’t know how to apply it?