Originally published Monday, 18 July 2016.
Part One from Seven Ways to Walk in the Spirit with Your Family
Make your home and family life a center of conversation about who God is and what He has done. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 11:18-20 NIV
Our little one has been a man of few words. While he hit the ground walking at nine months, talking just hasn’t held quite the same urgency. We realized about a month ago that he was clearly holding out on us when he blurted out the word “helicopter” perfectly. Both of us heard it and both of us stood there with our jaws dropped open. Little dude doesn’t say “Papa” or “Dada” but “helicopter.” Whatever! The other morning he pointed at the wall next to his changing table and said “Bible verse.” He wanted me to read him one of the verses I’d hung on the wall. I was so struck by how even at his young age the Lord was turning his heart, just as I’d prayed, toward His word.
It can be hard to have those spiritual conversations we read about in marriage or parenting books. My husband is a pastor and there’s days when I know he is so emotionally, mentally, and spiritually spent he doesn’t really want to have a deep conversation about something I might be wrestling through spiritually. Sometimes, he just wants to enjoy something light. Something funny. Not heavy or deep because he’s lived there all day. Your husband might not be a pastor, but I bet the end of the day finds you and your man tired too. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has been leading us in precious devotions together or reading a great biography about one of our faith’s founding fathers and I fall asleep on him! It’s terrible! If it’s not the awkwardness of trying to create a moment of spiritually meaningful connection amidst all life’s superficial yet urgent demands, or the zillion interruptions, just plain old tiredness can come in and take center stage in your family dynamic.
While I love our family devotions when we have them, I know being legalistic about them isn’t helpful for most of us out there. Try to have them. Enjoy them when you do. But I think most importantly, rather than having a carved out ritualistic time to specifically talk about God, we should be talking about Him and to Him in our family conversation all the time. Consider some of the other ways you might center the conversation in a natural way about the things of God:
- When you go to the zoo or out somewhere in nature discuss the beauty that God made and thank Him for it.
- When you get in the car, say a quick prayer for safety and ask the Lord to make each member of your family a blessing to the people you are about to encounter.
- When you eat, take a moment to say grace and thank God for His provision.
- When you play music, choose Christian music to float through your minds and hearts.
- When your little one falls, pray for the Lord to help them heal and thank Him for the way He designed our bodies to repair.
- When your little one needs correction, pray first for yourself, and then involve them in praying for their own heart and actions.
- When you make a mistake, be sure to tell your family members how sorry you are and tell them that you asked the Lord to forgive you.
- Tape Bible verses on your bathroom mirror to read while you brush your teeth, by the sink to read while you wash dishes, over your little one’s changing table (or wherever!), but cover your world in Scripture and read it out loud.
And just for fun, Walking in the Spirit with your family Scriptures we are using in this series all pretty and cute for you to use in your home. We are praying for your home to be a center of wonderfully fruitful, Christ honoring conversation!
Leave a comment below to share how you incorporate Christ-centered conversation in your family life!
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For more encouragement about walking with God, check out Walking with Jesus 101: One Hundred and One Days of Devotionals to Strengthen your Walk with God.