Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making God Real at Home

This is a devotion written by Micca Campbell which I thought was appropriate for this blog series. Thanks, Micca, for allowing me to use this today!

Making God Real at Home

Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall talk about them diligently to your sons 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 up.”

Discovering God and His ways are not meant to be a duty, but that’s what it can feel like when it comes to having family devotions. Most people think teaching their children about God means building an alter in the middle of their living room floor and meeting there daily to rehearse scripture and prayer. That’s not God’s intentions at all. Our key verse instructs us to “talk about [God] when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when are lying down and when you rise up.” God’s desire is for us to teach our children about Him in normal everyday settings as we simply live life.

My three children range in age, so naturally everybody wanted to do something different when it came to devotions. Can you imagine? That would be more like having a three-ring circus than learning about God. On the other hand, God is a fun and creative God. With that in mind, I was sure I could come up with a way to teach my children about Him without chaos or slumber.

I, indeed, found a fun way for our family to learn about God—it’s not to replace reading the Word but in addition to. We spend devotional time by watching movies together that have great moral lessons. Usually, I purchase these movies at a Christian book store or online. After the movie, we discuss how the characters in the show applied God’s moral law to their situations. I discovered this was a great way of teaching my children the right thing to do whenever they found themselves in a similar situation at school, church or in the neighborhood. Knowing our family discussions prepared my children for whatever may come their way brought peace to my heart and mind.

Another way our family continues to learn about God is by having spiritual birthdays. Celebrating spiritual birthdays is also a great way to establish your children’s faith. It makes it their own.

After dinner, we have cake and talk about the past year and how the child has grown spiritually. Sometimes I purchase a small gift such as a What Would Jesus Do bracelet. This celebration helps God become personal and their faith become stronger. If your child has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, then every year on that date you can have a spiritual birthday for them, too!

When my eldest son turned thirteen, I combined his physical day of birth with his spiritual birthday and invited the entire family—grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to the party. We had a backyard bar-b-que.

After the meal, all the guests sat in a circle. Each person told a story about Mitch before he opened that person’s gift. The story could be sentimental, funny, or one of faith. After each person presented their gifts, Pat and I read a letter to Mitch that we had written. We noted that there were many reasons that made us proud to be his parents, but the main reason was simply because he was ours. If Mitch had never hit a homerun, mastered the drums, or won the state tournament in bible drill, we would still be proud just because he was our gift from God.

It’s so important for us to teach our children about God and affirm their faith, that He commands us to do so. The truth is our children will grow to see God and the world around them by what we teach them and by what we don’t. I’d rather be certain that what they are learning is truth.

Dear Lord, I want to be intentional about teaching my children about you. Give me creative ideas that will draw the heart of my child to want to know you more. As we learn together, seal your truths into our hearts and minds so that our lives will influence others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
According to your children’s ages and interests, develop fun activities you can do together as a family while learning about God and His ways.

How can teaching your children about God build a lasting legacy?
What other ways can you help your child make faith their own?
How can your family influence others as you learn about God?

Power Verses:
Proverbs 1:8, “Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching” (NIV)

Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (NIV).

Proverbs 22:15, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (NIV). Copyright Micca Campbell 2007

Related Resources: http://www.miccacampbell.com/



Wanda said...

You expressed what every Christian family struggles with.
Good intentions often fall short when it comes to "family devo" time.
My family (we have 3 teens) have roller coastered through....stealing time when it came to sharing God's word together.

While it hasn't always been consistent....God has blessed us in spite.
Thanks for such a great post!

Wendi said...

Thanks for the devo post. With 2 kids 8 years apart in age, it is very difficult to appeal to both of them at the same time.

O Mom said...

Thanks for the creative ideas. I love the Spiritual Birthday celebrating idea.

Digging for Pearls said...

Thanks for the encouragement Susanne. My prayers are with you.


Lehrerin said...

Thanks for the ideas!

shutterhappyhope said...

I have really appreciate your post on how to write an article and how to write a devotional. I am interested in writing a couple of articles and know your information will be extremely helpful!

Kim said...

Oh, how I wish I had know the P31 ministry team when my girls were growing up. You gals are such an inspiration and would have been so helpful. I'm so glad I have you all now though and am so appreciative of all that you do to help lead women closer to our Jesus.

Hey, Lysa


Joyful said...

Great devotional. So encouraging. We try to have "Family Worship" every night, but due to schedules on certain days it doesn't always happen. Thanks for reminding me that worship is a lifestyle and teachable moments can happen at any time, anywhere.

So encouraged,