When I think of family devotions, I usually imagine them happening at the end of the family meal around the dinner table. But after many failed attempts, I've come up with a solution that works better for our family.
I've given up having family devotion around the dinner table, and have instead moved to the family room.
So, the McNeill routine looks something like this:
- We grab our meals from the kitchen, sit down at the table, (usually) wait 'till everyone has been seated, and then someone (usually me) gives thanks to God for the food and maybe adds another random request at the end of the prayer.
- Then we eat our meal, and hopefully, the chaos is kept to a minimum … namely that most of the food travels safely from plate to mouth, and most of the conversation is kind and loving.
- Then, we take our plates to the kitchen and hopefully someone stacks the dishwasher whilst someone wipes the table.
- Then, we head to the family room, with a Bible, and sit down.
One of the reasons I do this is that by the time we've finished dinner, we're often itching to get up and get on with stuff after dinner. I get tired and impatient, and am more likely to rush things if we get our Bibles out over dinner. And my wife Mandy is keen to clear the table of the dishes so that we don't rub our Bibles in the food, and so that the kids don't keep picking at the scraps.
I find that if we quickly draw the eating-around-the-table bit to a close, then we will have more energy for our family devotion thingy that follows.
Now, this doesn't happen all the time. In fact, it seems that we miss lots of family devotions because of lots of reasons. But, as I've said in a past article on this topic, when we've fallen off the horse, we just get up off the ground, and take another baby step (sorry for the mixed metaphors).
Maybe this might work for you, or maybe you might think that adding Bible and prayer time to the end of dinner is much easier and simpler. Well, that's great for you, either way.
The key is to have a go, try something, and if what you're doing is working, then keep doing it!
But if you're having trouble getting things happening in the family devotion scheme of things, then maybe this might be something you could try to help you and your family enjoy reading the Bible and praying together in fellowship.
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