Whether you're married, have kids, living with your parents or other family members you know that it can be tough to find meaningful things you can do together, that you all enjoy. For us the go-to for a long time was watching movies or playing a videogame together, but it's still tough to create time daily to focus on one another in a meaningful way. During the pandemic you would think it would have been easier to do, but honestly I think that we spend so much time together that we tend to spend a lot less quality time with one another. It hit me like a brick house a few months ago that I was getting far too distracted and not focusing enough on my family. I knew I needed to fix this asap so we started getting intentional about being in scripture together every day, even if only in little doses.
We all love to spend time together, but our hobbies are all different so it is really challenging to find common ground on activities we will all actually enjoy doing together. I prayed over how to get us together every day even just for a few minutes, and God has worked on us to create a nice little routine that all of us enjoy and I can see already is easily evolving as we grow. Every day we do three things that have helped all of us so much, and our home feels much closer and more peaceful.
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Read a Passage a Day
One of the most beautiful things you can do as a family is read God's Word together. It honestly took us a long while to get into this habit, but a few months ago the kiddo and I first started reading a Psalm a day in the mornings before she starts school and I start my work for the day around the house and community. I got her an Inspire Creative Journaling Bible for Girls to match my own Inspire Bible and we have really enjoyed starting in Psalms and plan to move on to the gospels next. This gives us an awesome chance to bond in the Word in the mornings to set up our day, and also get a little bit creative in scripture as well.
Reading a passage a day with my kiddo has been amazing. It gets us both in the Word every morning, and also gives her the chance to read with me and ask questions about what we are reading. Sometimes we have long conversations about what the passage means, and sometimes its quick, but either way we have set our focus on God for the day.
I can say without a doubt this has helped us both a lot to have this time together with God. Whatever stage your family is at, I encourage you to read a passage as a family every day. You can use a reading plan, or just open to wherever you're feeling led that day. Let God lead the way and the passage every day and watch as He works in you and your family through the shared experience of being in scripture together on a regular basis.
Read a Devotional or Study Together
At the time we began I was reading an amazing book with our Vineyard Women's group, called Battle Plan for Prayer. I was loving this study so much, and my kiddo and I had also just started a prayer journaling routine in the mornings, so I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to share with my kiddo and help her learn more about prayer as well. We started reading together at bedtime, and now my husband (who is not a reader) also joins us and we make it a family bedtime story routine.
This has been so amazing, and we have gone through several devotionals by now. Sometimes we take turns reading and its been a great way to focus on one another while we learn more about God and His Word together right before bed. Some are super short, some have been really long, and we just dive in where the Lord leads.
So far for our family we have loved Max Lucado books. We've gone through several by now and for us it's been perfect. Our kiddo is still young and in early stages of learning ab0ut faith, and it's been awesome to have a nice devo style for my husband and me every day as well. Choosing the right devotionals for your family should be done prayerfully, and remember its okay if you start one and realize it's a bit too advanced for all family members. That's happened a couple times for us. (I was a bit too excited to get into C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity only to find out it will be one I read on my own, which, hey, no complaints here!! I love to read!) We ended up saving that for later and grabbing one that is at a more appropriate level for us.
My husband and I also have a Small Group Study we do together every week which has been amazing, and gives us lots to pray, think and talk about all week long. Studying with my husband has also meant so much to me, as we get to be in the Word together with a couple of friends and learn more about one another and first and foremost about God. I highly recommend this for every couple.
Pray Together Daily
This is definitely the most vital part. Praying together as a family is imperative. Not only is it necessary for us to be daily communicating with God, but we can also set an example for those in our family who are newer in faith, and praying with and for them every day helps to strengthen our relationships with our family as well as with God. (Remembering you are talking to God, not your family.) Praying as a family is powerful.
We pray before every meal, even little snacks, and pray constantly throughout the day. We have set the precedent that when someone is praying nearby, all of us stop what we are doing and pray as well. We hold prayer to high level of importance in our home. It took quite a while for us to get into this habit, and it took an especially long while and lots of patience to teach our kiddo the importance of prayer, but diligence has paid off and we are now a household that constantly stops to pray together often, every day, and I can tell you this is such an incredible blessing.
Being in the Word on a regular basis, making time consistently to pray and study together, has been really helping all of us to grow in faith, in relationship with God, and with one another. We have had so many more meaningful conversations about faith, God and scripture, our home feels so much more peace, and we are teaching our kiddo to be unafraid of asking questions, value scripture and prayer, and grow in her own faith. It's been such a beautiful journey so far and I know we have so much ahead of us.
I cannot recommend highly enough that all families, whatever your dynamic, read, study and pray together constantly in intentional and meaningful ways. Remember, you have time, and you choose how you spend your time. Will you choose to prioritize God and His Word in your home and family?