Understand the four natural teaching moments that occur during the course of every day.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Does it seem that you cannot squeeze another activity
into your already overscheduled daily routine? Does the thought of a 30-minute
family devotion time each morning seem impossible? Be encouraged! In the 2nd
of a 20-article series Dr. Dunlap suggests a 15-minute plan, three times a
week. He discusses the four natural teaching times that occur each day and
explains how to seize the opportunity to train children in the midst of those
How can we make our family devotion times meaningful? I
often hear this question in my counseling practice. I dont want to bore my
children and make them dread family worship, parents tell me. Yet they are
committed to the concept of family altar and want practical suggestions for
making family worship something the entire family looks forward to.
We should talk to our children about the Lord in the morning,
at night as we go to bed, at mealtimes and when we ride in our cars.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 is a sobering command for parents who
desire to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the
Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and
when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get
Utilize the four natural teaching moments that occur
throughout the course of an average day.
Most families today live in a constant whirlwind of
activities. Often both Moms and Dads work schedules must be considered. Many
single parents juggle the demands of two jobs. Every parent is called,
nevertheless, to obey the very practical directives of the Deuteronomy command.
Talk to your children about Gods goodness as you sit
at home together to eat a meal. Ask each child to share one blessing from
his day with the rest of the family. As you hug them goodnight, or tuck them
into bed, pray with them. As they lie down, take five minutes to read
them a Proverb from the Bible, or an Arch book, for example. Arch books are
individually published Bible stories that are beautifully illustrated, and
written in poetry form. Best of all they are short.
As you drive along the road (most of us dont
walk to our destinations anymore,) quote scripture verses together. Keep an
index card taped to your car dashboard with a short Bible passage written on
it. You may need several weeks to memorize it together, but make an effort to
commit a small portion of it to memory each time you drive along the road.
A fifteen-minute family devotional plan is an excellent place
Finally, teach them the ways of God as you get up.
Formulate a simple, solid plan for family worship and set aside a block of time
each morning to begin your day with Christ, as a family unit. Begin with
fifteen minutes and as you implement your plan, progressively build from there
if you choose to increase your devotion time.
You will be encouraged by the spiritual dividends that will
result from your time investment in family worship.
Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the offices of
Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand appointments during
his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes adults, children and
families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to facilitating a network of
telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for the many people
unwilling, or unable, to meet face to face with a competent counselor. For more
articles by Dr. Dunlap go to Counseling
and Advice on the Health Channel.