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Devotions: Walk Before You Run

Bible Study / Family / Parenting / Spiritual Formation //

I think December, specifically the Advent season, is the perfect time for families to begin setting aside time to make Faith Talks a habit in their home. At our church, Life Bridge, we’re encouraging this through the use of the Advent Book and a pamphlet on how to have a family devotion time.

Of course, I’m not asking our church to do something that I’m not willing to do. Each December my family sets aside a time for our advent devotions. It’s something that we’ve done for a number of years, so many that we’ve created traditions and we look forward to the time each year.

But it wasn’t always this way.

I didn’t come from a family that had deep (healthy) family traditions around Christmas or did family devotions, nor did my wife. When we first married, it wasn’t something we gave much of a priority…and even in our early parenting years we didn’t have traditions.

That’s because they don’t form overnight.

We started with putting up a tree. We have 2 ornaments that mark our first Christmases together (one dating, one married) – we still put those on first. We have babies first Christmas ornaments.
Next we added baking cookies to give to families that ministered to our children.
Then that list morphed.
Then we added seeing the lights in a nearby town and eating dessert afterwards.
And slowly, traditions formed.

My encouragement to families this season and to those ministering to families: Lower the bar. Think small.

What is something simple that you can do? Something that you’ll be willing to do next year as well. Maybe it’s as simple as have a meal at the dining room table, together. Maybe it’s watch Rudolph or Frosty together.

Yes, I still think families should do Advent devotions, but if they aren’t doing anything, jumping into every night might be too big a leap – how about once a week. Or how about once?

Let’s make sure our family can crawl, before it walks – then it learns to run.

Should I Have Family Devotions?

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About the Author

Jesse and his wife, Teri, will celebrate 20 years of marriage in May of 2012 and are raising two growing sons, Kevin and Alex. After moving from the DC metro area in 2008 they adopted a mastiff named Book and slobber became a way of life. In his spare time, you may find Jesse enjoying photography, biking, or simply watching a movie or reading. Jesse is a graduate of Cohort K from Bethel Seminary’s CFM program and serves as the Children and Family Pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Wauconda.