Not far from our home is a vast national soccer complex where children and youth from all around the country—and even the world—play and compete. I often drive by and am amazed to see hundreds of parents sitting there sweltering in 90-plus degree, humid temperatures to watch their children play. That takes some kind of devotion from both parents and their kids! (Not to mention the investment of time and money.)
Sports is just one example of things families are “devoted” to…a list could go on and on, including academic achievement, music, travel, hobbies, etc. But parents, what do you want your family to be devoted to more than anything else? What alone will bring your children ultimate satisfaction and indestructible joy?
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
As R. C. Sproul has said,
I don’t think there’s a mandate to be found in sacred Scripture that is more solemn than this one. That we are to teach our children the truth of God’s Word is a sacred, holy responsibility that God gives to His people. And it’s not something that is to be done only one day a week in Sunday school. We can’t abdicate the responsibility to the church. The primary responsibility for the education of children according to Scripture is the family, the parents.
Are you prioritizing being devoted to God together above all other things in your family’s busy life? One way to intentionally incorporate this into the routine of your family’s life is to set aside a regular time (even 10 minutes) to do the following three things every day:
- Engage with God’s Word together.
- Pray together.
- Sing to God together.
Yes, the thought of doing regular family “devotions” can sound daunting—especially with a large family or with very young children. It may seem like just one more thing to try to fit in an already extremely busy schedule…but it is the best thing (and will prove more rewarding than your child receiving any soccer trophy or other achievement).
Here are some helpful resources to get you started:
Family Devotions—an overview of the basic “why” and “how” of family devotions plus links to Truth78 devotional resources
How to Do Family Worship—a concise article by Joel Beeke
Family Worship—a video interview with Don Whitney