Last Sunday I taught about the need for men to serve as spiritual leaders in their homes. One of the ways to do this is through a time of “daily family devotions.” Basically, that means the man of the house needs to lead his family through reading the Scriptures to his family, explaining what that passage means, and praying over his family.
It is not as if you follow the formula of three easy steps and “POOF” you have a godly family. Depending on the age and number of kids in your house, you’ll need to tweak and contextualize this process for your own family.
Here are five simple steps for men to lead their families in devotionals:
1. Prioritize a Specific Time
Your work schedule and the schedule of your wife and kids may effect what time you need to do this, but the bottom line is to set aside some time daily. Breakfast or right before bed-time are the most typical times for this.
2. Determine What You’re Going to Read and Teach
You could choose to read through the Bible together using one of the many YouVersion plans, you could concentrate on finding examples of families in the Scriptures, or you could simply march through a book of the Bible together slowly and methodically.
If you’re just starting this, I encourage you to pick a book of the Bible and buy a commentary for that particular book at your local Christian bookstore. Read through the passage you’re teaching, then read the commentary, then you’ll be ready. It shouldn’t take long to do that.
3. Round Up Your Family and Remove the Distractions
Turn off your TVs, iPhones, iPads, computers, and every other electronic device that is a distraction. Trust me . . . everyone can live without them for a few minutes. This is the hardest part of the entire family devotional experience. Doing this is like herding cats . . . especially at first.
4. Lead Your Family in Devotions
– Pray for the beginning of the devotion. If possible, make it brief as the kids may still be wired.
– Read your biblical passage for the day/night and then explain what the passage means. On Sundays or Mondays, it may be good to simply teach the same text/topic that I (or whoever is your pastor) taught in his Sunday morning message. Teach from your Bible and sermon notes. At the end of explaining that passage and/or topic, ask this question: What does this passage mean to your life?
5. Ask for Brief Prayer Requests
Ask the kids and your wife to share prayer requests. This also opens the door to have your whole family share about their day. This is good family communication time before solid prayer time. If the conversation starts to devolve into random chatter, rope them back in to sharing prayer requests. Then, journal those requests and pray over them. A family prayer journal will be something you’ll really enjoy reading in the years and decades ahead of you.
Men, it is up to you to lead your families. I hope that you’ll follow this simple process of family devotions to become the leader and family God wants you to be for His glory!