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10 Surefire Ways to Make Your Kids Hate Family Devotions
Want to make absolutely sure that your kids loathe family devotions? Here are ten easy ways to make sure they associate family worship with legalism, boredom, and drudgery.
- Hold firmly to the belief that your consistency and faithfulness in doing family devotions will in fact ensure your child’s salvation.
- Don’t allow your kids to act like kids. Make sure they sit completely still and listen to every word you say.
- Expect immediate, visible results. If they aren’t on their knees crying and asking for forgiveness by the end of the devotional time, you have done something wrong.
- The longer the time you spend reading the Bible, the better. Most TV programs are at least a half an hour long, so they can sit for that long and pay attention to God’s Word to them.
- Don’t let them see your weakness. Make sure that if there is a question about confessing sin, you point out all of their sin. Don’t ever bring up the ways you fail.
- Never mention grace. Don’t talk about how Jesus loves and forgives sinners. Make sure they know that the only way to please God is their obedience to you.
- Force them into religious duties even if they don’t want to perform them. Everyone better pray, and they better pray for at least five minutes if they want to get up from the table.
- Start out every devotional time with a reading of Ephesians 6:1–3. Be sure to stop before you get to verse 4.
- Make sure that Carman’s “The Champion” is always playing in the background.
- Don’t be flexible at all. They must learn discipline. Did the hamster die and everyone is crying? Skip the funeral, because devotions must come first.
Drudgery or joy?
Of course, this is joke. But before you laugh it off, I would ask you to consider if you have ever in fact done any one of these things.
Have you ever expected your unregenerate children to act like believing adults? Have you ever been so rigid in your family devotional time that you made it drudgery instead of a joy to talk about Jesus together?
The gospel is supposed to be good news.
Family devotions are a good thing. They can be a means of grace to your entire family, but often we turn them into an idol. We get some idea in our head about how devotions are supposed to look, and we won’t budge an inch from getting that picture exactly right.
Have you ever been so rigid in your family devotional time that you made it drudgery instead of a joy?
Think outside the box
Instead, think outside the box. There is no perfect way to spend time talking about Jesus. You could do family devotions while driving somewhere; let the little ones take turns reading. You can talk about Jesus when you are walking through Walmart, or when you put the kids to bed, or through the door as you are trying to go to the bathroom. Let go of all of your religious ideals when it comes to how devotions should look. The Holy Spirit works even in the midst of everyday craziness.
Here is some good news for you if you found yourself uncomfortably laughing at yourself: God is strong enough to take all of your failures and all of your weaknesses, and he can still draw your children to himself.
Jessica Thompson’s new collection of Scripture meditations, Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family, will help you teach your children to treasure and rely on Jesus more than anything else.