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A few years ago, two thoughtful seminary-trained dads approached me on separate occasions with the same question:
“What should daily life look like for my family if we are trying to follow the Lord?”
Since these conversations occurred within three months of each other, it highlighted the reality that strong biblical training does not make obvious the practical steps of aiming for godly as a family.
Which is more important — having the right mission and vision or taking practical steps that will help accomplish the mission and vision?
The answer is both.
The mission and vision must be clear and we must take practical steps in the right direction. If something is not visible at the practical level, it is invisible. The practice of, or failure to practice, some of these everyday ideas will largely determine where you find yourself at the end of your life.
Here are a few ideas on how to aim for godly together as a family that our family has found to be effective…
Study The Bible Together
Thee hurdle of finding time for family Bible study ends up being a values question. Do we value this enough to make it part of our everyday schedule?
Husband and wife must be in agreement to institute anything that is an everyday thing for a family. Making time for this has to be “on the calendar” for both Mom and Dad and will initially take some adjustments.
The best timing for most families is right before bedtime or right after dinner.
The good news is that this incredibly valuable practice normally takes between five and thirty minutes a day.
Most Christians in America wish they spent more time in prayer. Some may feel an underlying guilt every time the topic of prayer is brought up.
While an individual prayer life is important, what if you focused on growing your prayer life as a family?
Praying together deepens our relationships and grows our faith as we ask the Lord to move and watch His amazing answers.
For some, praying together as a family may have bad connotations.
We’ve all experienced Dad’s too-long prayer that could rival the President’s State of the Union address or Mom’s laundry list of her children’s faults and entreaty for patience and perseverance.
Prayer need not be everlasting or painful.
Our family favorite, means everyone can pray a short prayer whenever they are ready. They can “pop” as many times as they would like while providing space for everyone to participate.
Choosing someone to open and close is helpful. Popcorn prayer contains two secret ingredients: brevity and volume.
Prayers that are brief and loud enough for everyone to understand help each family member to stay engaged.
Popcorn prayer can invigorate your family prayer life.
In the book we also discuss some ideas about what to pray for as a family.
Memorize God’s Word Together
It seems the American church has embraced the idea that memorizing Scripture is a good idea . . . for children.
For most adults, however, the thought of memorizing the Bible receives a less than enthusiastic reaction. Many adults think they are particularly “bad at memorizing verses.”
Nowhere does the Bible indicate that Scripture memorization is for children only. In fact, the Bible provides plenty of evidence of Scripture memorization being part of a natural part of following Christ.
One way your family can aim for godly is by selecting a passage of scripture to memorize together
as a family.
Pick a passage that is between forty and fifty verses in length so you can commit about one verse to memory each week and memorize the entire passage in one year.
What passage should you memorize?
Consider passages that, if you were stuck on a deserted island without your Bible, would help you faithfully follow Christ for the rest of your life.
Pick a time each day, such as dinnertime, to review the verse you are working on that week.
Once a week, try to say all the verses you have learned in your selected passage so far. Keep adding on verse by verse with the goal of finishing the chapter (or selected passage) by the end of the year.
This chapter in the book also includes some methods to increase retention, and make the memorization process easier.
More Ideas That Will Help You Aim For Godly
These are just a few of the ideas covered in the book.
The Bible shows us a significant part of loving others in a Christ-like way is knowing their needs and attempting to meet them (1 John 3:16-18).
Another important aspect of this chapter is the “Thermometer/Barometer” activity as a means of expressing love and care.
Schedule What Matters Most
If you truly want to see some of these practices become a permanent part of your family’s walk with God, put them on the schedule first.
The only exceptions should be work and school if you do not have control over these.
Putting extracurricular commitments on the calendar ahead of these will drastically erode the likelihood that they will become a reality.
Remember the words you hope to hear from your family in the rocking chair.