How many times do we need to be promised that if we would just schedule one night a week for family night, or read and pray daily as a family that our family relationships and over-all Spirit of the home will change before we actually do it?
Or, maybe better questions are why don’t we consistently have family prayer and scripture study, and why do we seem to keep forgetting it’s family night until after it’s too late to actually have an activity?
Why? Because we are not in the habit of living deliberately.
Deliberate is one of my favorite words. It means living on purpose. In my mind it actually means living for purpose. We all have a purpose in this life and sometimes day to day living can distract us from our purpose.
Christ’s purpose was to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” If we have taken His name upon us as saints and disciples of Him, then that is also our purpose. We can’t do all He did for us, but we can bring people to Him. To do this we have to start by bringing ourselves to Him for His purposes.
How often should we bring ourselves to Christ? We are pretty good at bringing ourselves to Him each week for regular church worship. But, many of us struggle to bring ourselves to Him each day in family prayer and scripture study. Why can we get up on Sunday, even though we stayed up too late on Saturday, but we can’t consistently wake up 15 minutes earlier each day to do family scripture study?
Why? Because church starts at a certain time. Simple. People perform for deadlines and time limits. Since church starts at 9:00 am, we get up in enough time to get there by 9:00 am, no matter how tired we are.
We need to ‘on purpose’ schedule time for the other important things in our life too. If we deliberately scheduled 15 or 20 minutes each day for prayer and family scripture study, we would leave our homes feeling the Spirit with us and with renewed family perspective and more harmonious familial relationships, as well as having conquered a morning victory to start the day.
Many of us set goals for what we want to incorporate into our family cultures, but for some reason these things we hope for often stay as goals and don’t get accomplished. If we set a time for the goal to happen, then the possibility of the goal actually being accomplished dramatically goes up.
As an added bonus, the whole family takes responsibility instead of just Mom or Dad. The children help to hold the family accountable for keeping or not keeping to the schedule. Yes, setting an actual time is the key to helping the family become more self-governing regarding morning devotional. Once you have set a time, then you have to make yourself get up, or slow down for a short minute.
Added Power for a Busy World
Where does your power come from? My power comes from living what it is God intended me to be. So, if I am a mother and wife, then my power comes from living that role. If I am a father and husband, then living that divine role will also give me the strength and happiness to do all that is required of me.
We must recognize where our power comes from, and the minimal amount of time it takes to get that power. Is family unity worth 15 minutes? It is for our family. If we take time to gather for 15 minutes each day to pray, read and discuss the scriptures our family is unified and full of love.
Once I recognized that my day is totally different if we miss family devotional, I look at that time as important as eating breakfast or taking a shower. It gives me power to lead, teach, understand, encourage, work, drive, and influence all day long. Who could imagine that 15 minutes could do that?
Did you know that you can read two and a half pages of scripture in 15 minutes?
Attitude Problems During The Power Boost?
I hear some of you saying that during that time there is only contention and selfishness. Don’t worry, I know what that is like too. When I was a teenager, I was the one at the kitchen table being grumpy and having an attitude problem during family devotional. My parents didn’t know what to do with me.
Children can learn self-government. They can learn to follow instructions and disagree appropriately if they have a problem. And families can create a culture where children feel understood while also teaching them self-discipline. Don’t give up.
What Time Is Best?
One family I heard of had a 6:00 rule to keep them focused on family time and prayer. Every day at 6:00 they would all stop what they were doing, gather together in the family room and pray and read scriptures. This happened at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. Even if visitors were over, the family observed the 6:00 rule, inviting guests to join them in prayer and scripture time.
Set a time for daily family time, and make it sacred. Nothing can interfere. Do the same with Monday night family night. Set the time for say 7:00 and then you won’t forget. Just saying Monday is family night is not enough. Setting the time 7:00 gives you something to stop for.
Some families feel mornings are best for family devotional. Others prefer evenings. If children are small, evenings seem to work okay. But, if families have older children mornings generally work better for devotional because activities often happen during the evening hours. Decide which will work best for you, then set a time.
The trick to repairing and improving family relationships is not complicated. In fact, it is quite old. Some call it time management, some call it focus. I call it acting deliberately. However, you look at it, scheduling time will change your family culture for the better, increase the love in your home and give you all the power you need to stand firm in the difficult days ahead.
Set a habit now, so that you can have family strength for the future.