Tell Me How, and I Will Die Trying
If I were to be completely transparent, I would tell you that having family devotions was the last thing on my mind as I went through my day. Surviving, keeping my boys alive and getting to bed that night was my goal for quite a while.
Are You Having Devotions or Being Devoted?
It dawned on me: Having devotions should NOT be my goal, but being devoted to Christ should!!! My heart and my thoughts are continually about Him. What freedom! Having 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 time you can check off and feel good about.
We can’t just check it off and put Him away as we put our Bibles back on the shelf! God is more about my heart (my devotion) toward Him than being able to cross off my duty (my devotions) to Him. He longs for a relationship and to be a part of my life 24/7, not just token moments here and there in something I call “devotions.” He wants all of me!
Deuteronomy 6 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about then when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
The commandments are to be on our hearts, and we then impress them upon our children as we go about our day. 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. It’s not manufactured. It’s simply doing life with our children!Our ultimate goal as parents is not outward obedience but to create an atmosphere in which God can reach their hearts. Click To Tweet
Orienting Their Hearts, Not Just Their Heads
When one of the boys was little, he was concerned he couldn’t hear God’s voice. He asked me, “If I could hear Him, what would He say?” Oh, what an open door to be able to speak truth into his little heart. I took that little opening and cracked it wide open. I’ve often heard it said that the best way to get a healthy lawn is not simply to remove the weeds but to ensure your grass is healthy. The healthy grass will take care of a lot of the weeds. It’s the same with the landscape of our children’s hearts. It’s more about planting and tending to the good and not always eliminating the bad. Once the fruit of the Spirit starts to grow in their lives, weeding is not such a monumental task.
Another time, right around Christmas, we were driving around looking at all the nativity scenes. In the back of the van, I heard one of the boys ask, “Mom, did Jesus poop?” Oh. My. Gosh. It almost felt blasphemous to talk about “poop” and “Jesus” in the same breath. (Still feels a little weird typing it!) But what a moment! I was able to talk about Jesus being fully human and fully God. “Yes, son, Jesus pooped!” His humanity was revealed in such a way that a 6-year-old boy could relate.
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 your children, in front of your children, when you are in the carpool lane, when you are at the grocery store, when you are hiking in the mountains, etc. If having a 30-minute devotion is your thing, then do that, but let Him bring life to what you are studying and talking about. Don’t just read for the sake of reading. Don’t get under condemnation if days go by before you are able to get back to it. Start where you left off.