Hey Men, do you struggle to stay consistent in your daily devotions? Do you struggle to lead your family spiritually?
In 20 years of pastoral ministry those are the two most common struggles I’ve seen almost all Christian dads have. In this post I’m going to show you how you can build the habit of consistency in your daily devotions and begin leading your family spiritually at the same time.
A strange observation
I’ve noticed lately that most dads will do things for their wife or kids that they would not do for themselves. For example: I’m not big on cooking. I don’t really like to cook and I’m not all that great at it. But if I’m the one in charge and my family needs a meal, I’ll be in the kitchen whipping something up. Guaranteed.
I’m sure you are the same way.
How does cooking relate to daily devotions? Daily devotions for men are obviously something that most of us have a hard time doing just for ourselves. It doesn’t matter how much we understand that…
- We gain spiritual strength from our daily devotions.
- Our quiet time helps us draw near to God.
- Our time alone with God enables us to face the challenges of life.
- Consistent time with the LORD gives God great glory.
We STILL struggle to consistently make the appointment with God and keep it. Am I right?
It’s not all about you
As I noticed this correlation I began to wonder if things would change if I saw my daily time with the LORD like I do cooking.
What if I really believed that MY FAMILY’S spiritual well being depended on my consistency? Would things change then?
I guess it was forcing myself to look beyond myself (a hard thing to do sometimes). Though it’s true that I need to seek God for myself, it’s not ALL about me. It’s about them (my family). They NEED me to be close to God. It’s for their good that I am consistent in my daily devotions.
Practically speaking it starts with that mindset. I have to recognize that my laziness or lack of commitment goes farther than the effects it has on my life. It will negatively impact the ones I care about the most.
When I am close to God they get…
- A husband/dad who’s able to walk in the Spirit and display its fruit (Galatians 5:16-25).
- A man who is up to the challenge of spiritual leadership.
- An example worth following.
When I’m not… they get the best I can do… which is not really all that good.
So what does it look like in real life?
The Accountability Factor
The first thing that makes a difference is what I call the accountability factor. I have verbally committed to my wife and children that I will lead them in some kind of devotional discussion every morning at breakfast (you can pick a time that works for your family). That puts me on the hook… I have to do it to be a man of my word. That accountability factor goes a long way for me, because I know that others are depending on it and that my example as a husband and father is at stake.
Once I’m appropriately on the hook, I can’t sit down at the breakfast table with nothing. I’ve got to have something to share. That makes me do two things:
- I make sure I get up to spend time with the LORD each morning.
- I pay attention when I begin my time with the LORD.
I can’t let my mind wander and I can’t just sit there. I’ve got to truly engage with the Word of God so that I can have something to discuss. It doesn’t mean I’ve got to have all the answers, it just means I’ve got to have some important questions we can explore together.
Put it out there
No matter how significant or insignificant you think your scriptural observations are, put it out there. Talk about it with your family. What matters is that you are taking the initiative to lead them toward the LORD. That’s all leadership is, taking initiative. As you do, all of you will grow. Don’t let fear, intimidation, insecurity, or lack of knowledge keep you quiet. Whatever you see in the scriptures or sense from the LORD as you pray, put it out there and engage with your family about it.
Don’t shy away from the hard stuff
Chances are that the areas of confusion I have when I read the Bible are the same areas of confusion my wife and kids have when they read the Bible. I have to be humble enough to admit that and talk about it. It does my kids good to see that Dad is a disciple of Jesus who is learning and growing, just like they are. It teaches them how to be a student, a follower, a truth seeker. And together we can discuss the difficulties. Who knows, they may actually be given an observation by the Holy Spirit that helps me!
Pray for the LORD to apply it
As you wrap up your discussion, take the time to ask the LORD to apply what you’ve discussed to your lives and to that day in particular. He knows what’s in store for the day. He gave you the insights you’ve gleaned together. He knows best how to apply them to what’s coming. Ask Him. Trust Him. Lean on Him. In doing so, you’ll show your kids how relevant and applicable relationship with the LORD really is.
Do it again tomorrow
Share below what you are going to do to repurpose your daily devotions…