Boy, do I understand the busy life of a family: so many schedules to coordinate and so many tasks to accomplish. It really feels sometimes like trying to get everyone where they need to be, when they need to get there, and with the stuff they need to have with them takes extreme planning methods. I think these are the kinds of questions that need to be on SAT tests: You need to have Suzy on the West side with ballet equipment from 3:45-5:15, Joey on the South side for a baseball game from 5-7(and you’re on snack duty), and work on Sally’s science experiment in the same evening. How can you accomplish this? Oh, and make sure everyone is fed and clean!!!
So, I understand when we start talking about Family Discipleship that many already stretched families have the reaction that, “Yes, while we understand that it’s important—it feels nearly impossible to really make those kinds of changes in our family!” Does that feel familiar to you?
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your heart and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them 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 door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deut. 6:7-9
We hear that we need to share the things of God with our children. Okay, but “what” exactly do we need to share with them? At our church, Risen King Community Church in Northern California, we send the kids home with a Family Guide (these are posted at http://risenking.org/Ministries/KIDS.html if you missed it or feel free to use them if you don’t have access to a resource like this in your area) that has a story, a memory verse and an action point, or you can start with a weekly Scripture reading or devotional, or use what you are learning in church.
Once you figure out the “what”, the hard part is figuring out the “when.” Here are a few of my ideas as to how to put Deut. 6 into practice in the real world that we live in today. Take advantage of the 5 minute chunks during your day. For the sake of these examples, I’m going to share how I would use a Family Guide in an average family.
Talk about them when you sit at home
- Stick the Family Guide in your napkin holder and talk it through at the dinner table or while making dinner, cleaning the house or working on homework.
- Crank up some worship music as you’re working on chores as a family.
And when you walk along the road
- Walking or driving works!! Stick the family guide in your tennis shoes or in the visor in your car so that it’s available to pull out to start a conversation when you’re driving(of course, don’t read it while you’re driving–have a non driver reading–talk about it while you’re driving) or taking a walk.
- Listen to worship music!
When you lie down and when you get up.
- Write the memory verse of the week on an index card- read it with your children when you’re tucking them up and/or in the morning when getting ready for the day.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
- Use bracelets, necklaces, shoelaces, key chains or t-shirts to remember things we’ve learned about God.
Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
- Write words or verses or truths on the bathroom mirror and the refrigerator!
Please share some ways that you have used the 5 minutes’ in your family!!
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