Does Your Family Have
a Spiritual Routine?
Most families have a regular rhythm of life. The grownups go
to work or care for the house, and the kids go to school and extracurricular
activities. On weekends, there are chores, get-togethers with friends, occasionally
some family fun, time with extended family or guests, and much-needed down
Except for seasonal variations, vacations and holidays,
family life is made up of routines and schedules. But one important aspect of
life may be completely missing: your family's spiritual routine.
Husbands and wives know if they don't get some "couple
time," pay attention to each other with gifts and services, and communicate
effectively, their marriage isn't going to last, much less grow. Students know
if they don't do their homework and listen in class, they aren't going to
succeed in school. It's the same with any sport, musical endeavor or hobby: if
you don't practice, you won't get better.
So why do so many families neglect their own spiritual
development, and then wonder why communication within the family becomes
dysfunctional, or many family members have personal problems and become
estranged from God?
Spiritual life has the same sorts of routines and
disciplines as anything else. Families could gradually adopt a style for spiritual
family life that suits them and fulfills them. Suggestions:
church as a family once a week.
turns saying grace before dinner, and try to have dinner together as a family
almost every night.
the radio tuned to a Christian station in your car and home.
young children, read a Bible bedtime story to them every night and listen to
their prayers; those who can read independently - including parents - should
read the Bible and pray for at least 10 or 15 minutes every day.
neat idea for everyone to be reading the same chapter each day so you can
discuss; you can get a Bible reading schedule that you all can follow from your
church or any number of commercial sources.
children would benefit from Sunday School, children's choir and a Bible club
such as Awana once a week.
expectation that your teenager will be active in the church youth group, and
work with your church's ministers if it isn't happening.
Sundays "family day," and do things together such as go to the zoo, work on a
volunteer project together to help others, or just stay home and relax
together; outside interests and friends are for the other six days of the week.
in the family should participate in at least one Bible study at some point, and
report back the highlights to the rest of the family. There are studies for
children, teens, men, women, and all kinds of general audience studies from
which to choose.
monthly "family meeting," in which you read from the Bible, discuss various
problems and opportunities, talk about current events and how they relate to
your faith, and plan for the future.
By Susan Darst Williams • www.GoBigEd.com • Heart Lessons
007 • © 2006