Dr. Randy Carlson
You want to put Jesus front and center in your family’s life, but with so many “urgent” activities vying for their time and attention, that can be easier said than done. Too often we trip ourselves up by taking an all-or-nothing, take-no-prisoners attitude when it comes to turning over a new spiritual leaf. Just like crash diets and dramatic New Year’s resolutions, even the best intentions can quickly fall by the wayside, a casualty of unrealistic expectations.
I recommend a more moderate approach to easing your family into spiritual disciplines. Let’s face it: there aren’t enough hours in the day for most families. Kids today face mountains of homework. Moms and dads both work long hours and are exhausted when they get home. There’s laundry to be done, dishes to wash, floors to vacuum. It may be hard to imagine where you can possibly fit in prayer and Bible study.
But there may be hidden pockets of time you haven’t considered. Too often, as soon as dinner is over – or even during dinner, the TV goes on. What if you postponed TV watching and other “screen time” by thirty minutes so you and your family could interact with each other?
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Start simply by saying grace together before meals. Contrary to what you might think, spiritual disciplines are not just another activity to jam onto an already-crowded schedule. Stopping to pray with your family can actually have a centering effect, allowing everyone to collectively “exhale” all the built-up stresses of the day. In John 14:27 Jesus said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. In other words, the world gives you over-stimulated senses, jangled nerves and the effects of “TMI” – Too Much Information. Praying together, even if it’s five minutes before a meal or a few minutes before you tackle other chores, gives your mind and body a chance to relax and regroup. Think of it as a mini-spa retreat for the Soul!
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Are you and your family in the spiritual fast lane? What are some creative ways you and your family can find to spend time with God? Post comments below.