Family devotions dont have to be long and complex to be meaningful.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Do the words family altar intimidate you? Are you
hesitant to begin having regular devotions with your family, because the
prospect seems too difficult and time-consuming? In the 1st of 20
articles on family devotions, Dr. Don Dunlap explains that we are more likely
to stick with a plan that is not long and complicated. He discusses how we can
begin to develop a family devotional plan that is perfectly suited for our
unique family unit.
After the breakfast dishes are cleared away, Jim and Susan
call enthusiastically to their children, Time for family worship! One by one,
Josh, 14, Amanda 8 and Kevin, 3, file into the living room and plop down on the
sofa. With eyes half closed they rally themselves when Jim admonishes them to
look alert. When will this be over? Josh asks his dad. Ive still got some
homework to finish up. Do we have to do this every morning?
Amanda whines. My friend Caitlins mom only makes them have family devotions
twice a week. Im sleepy! announces Kevin as he curls up and lies down on
the carpet. Thus begins another exciting episode of Can we survive family
Many parents want to know the best time to have family
devotions and what materials and resources are best.
Many couples that come for counseling ask me about family
worship. Most Christian men feel overwhelmed by the challenge and unequipped
for the task of leading their wives and children in family devotions. Many
Christian women, who for various reasons are charged with the leadership of
family worship, feel the same way.
They want to know when to do family worship, how to do it, and
what materials and resources to use. They want to know, above all, how to make
their family devotion times interesting and meaningful.
If our plan gets too complicated we probably wont stay with
it for very long.
If you are a single parent, the material presented in this
series of articles should be applicable to your situation as well. The
important thing to remember is that family worship need not be long or
complicated. It should, however, be as consistent as possible. We are usually
more prone to stick with a plan that is simple and workable.
We maintain the same basic plan, but we constantly modify it
as we see what works best from season to season.
Over the past twenty years of our parenting experience,
my wife and I have tried numerous approaches to conducting family worship. Over
time we have developed a family worship plan that we can comfortably implement.
We have ten children, seven of whom are under the age of thirteen. We have, of
course, continually modified our approach and our teaching methodology,
according to the changing configuration of our growing tribe.
In this series on family devotions, we offer you the product
of our ongoing efforts to daily weave the Lord Jesus Christ into our childrens
lives in a manner that is appealing, winsome and uncompromising.
You may wish to use a few of our suggestions after
considering them prayerfully. However, we do not recommend trying to duplicate
the family worship time of any particular family. There is no one right way
or right time to conduct family devotions. God has created each family uniquely
different and each family must discover the plan that works best for them.
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 unable to
meet face to face with a competent Bible-based counselor. For a complete
library of Dr. Dunlaps articles, indexed by topic, go to Family Counseling Ministries
may also make an appointment for personal telephone counseling by clicking on Family Counseling Ministries
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