There are a lot of things I love in life: drinking raspberry lambics with my BFF, my mom’s nachos, the sound of rain on corn leaves, a vintage piece of Pyrex, and a cute pair of high heels. But there are a few things I love even more: being Lutheran, talking theology, a well-sung hymn, the Lord’s Supper.
You know . . . the usual.
I also love family devotions. I mean, I really love them. I love them so much I think every family should do them. All the time. Everywhere. Even on vacation. In a rain forest. Bibles and catechisms all around!
When I was little, my dad made us girls and our mom spend time in God’s Word and in prayer each night. Every night at 9:00 p.m., after we’d finished our homework and were thinking about bed, when we’d talked our mom’s ear off and worked out all our girl drama, Dad would gather us together, pull out the family Bible and read us a chapter. We’d discuss it for a bit, pray the Lord’s Prayer, and then head our separate ways.
*It’s worth noting here that while the rest of us were working on winding down for the evening, my middle sister found this to be a prime time to practice her clarinet. And let me tell you, she is no Benny Goodman. Do you hear that, sis? No.Benny.Goodman.*
Our devotions weren’t particularly in-depth. We didn’t translate from the Greek. There were no home altars involved. But God’s Word works, even in little farmhouses down dusty lanes in the middle of bean fields in Iowa.
I don’t think my dad knew what he was doing or realized the profound impact this kind of study would have on his family. It just seemed like the right thing to do. And it is do-able, and it is good.
Families that claim they don’t have enough time are making excuses. There is always time. And if there isn’t time, you make time. And if you can’t make time, you give up something else so that you can. You show your children that what is happening on Sunday is just as important on Sunday morning as it is on Tuesday night and Thursday night. You help them see that what matters to them as children matters to adults, that what is good for you at age 40 is good for them at age 2 or 8 or 15.
There were no mind-blowing revelations during those devotions. (Ok, maybe the realization that my sister was not cut out for a future in pep band was divine enough.) But God’s Word worked. It did what it said. It accomplished much for our family, and we hold God to His Word that it can for yours too.