All tagged family
Listening is a lost art. We love to talk, tweet, and tell everyone what we think about everything, but if you’re like me, you find listening difficult.
This week I'm writing about family devotions. We've talked about a strategy, how to pick the right resources, and I want to conclude this short series with five simple rules for family worship. So here they are...
Read. Sing. Pray. It really doesn't need to be more complicated than that. I spent an entire year so overwhelmed about how to perfectly shepherd my kids that I largely wasn't shepherding my kids. I can't overemphasize how important it is that you don't get up in your head about this. Choose your resources carefully, but then keep it simple and get after it.
The quickest way to kill momentum is make your kids dread devotions. Keep it fun. Get over yourself. Act out stories. Make a game out of it. Use voices. Put them in the story. I don't care how you do it, just keep it fun. Fun takes work, so put in the extra effort because it will be worth it.
Every parent has high hopes for their children. We all want our kids to be “well-adjusted” (whatever that means), healthy, successful, and most of us pray our kids marry somebody great. While I share all of these hopes for my kids, I have one desire for them towering above the rest: I want each of my kids to know and love Jesus.
Sadly, many of us have abdicated this responsibility, delegating the shepherding of our children to the local church. Obviously, the local church has a crucial role to play in the spiritual formation of children, but God’s goal is for discipleship to start in the home. This demands the “God-talk” described in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. At breakfast, on the way to school, sitting around the house, playing games, watching TV, mealtimes - there is never a time we cannot and should not engage the hearts of our kids in spiritual matters.
As a parent of three young kids (Ava 5, Ryder 3, Lincoln 1) I always want to look for these opportunities to talk about Jesus and we’ve found regular family devotions to be the best way to plant the seeds from which these everyday conversations can grow - especially while our kids are young.
We’ve struggled to find the right manner and method. I’ve read a number of books, listened to some lectures, and asked lots of friends how they practice family devotions and finally we’re starting to feel like we’re figuring it out…I think…maybe…at least right now :-) It’s hard work and requires constant attention. In our house, we’ve found that effective family devotions are made up of three basic rhythms…
I don’t know what Christmas morning is like in your house, but with three little kids (all under the age of six) in our house, it’s about two clicks past chaos. I think last year we opened every gift and were well into our first mental breakdown by 7am.
To be honest, the chaos is part of what makes Christmas with little kids fun. Any parent who loves their children finds great joy in waking up early with their kids and watching them tear through presents. I love experiencing this through the eyes of my children each year.
What I think has been lacking in my home these past few years has NOT been fun, but intentionality.
Christmas morning is a crucial spiritual formation opportunity to be capitalized on with my family. I want to be flexible and have fun, but this year I also want to manage Christmas morning with more intentionality. Here’s what I’ll be doing:
My dad was not a pastor, but I had enough friends who had a pastor for a dad to know that it’s not easy. This is a critical issue for me as parent of three kids and a pastor of a young church. I want them to love Jesus. I want them to love me. I want them to love the Church. You may not attend my church, but if you read my blog, you most likely attend some church. So, here are five ways you can help love your pastor’s kids.