Today there is a big push for family devotions, and in a way, this is Biblical. Christian parents are to teach their children, but is sitting down as if they are in school the only way?
One family I know sings. They are gifted, and their house is filled with praise music. Most songs they know contain lines of scripture. I often think that maybe our family should have been encouraged to sing more. My husband has an excellent voice and so do a few of our kids. But then I remember that I can’t carry a tune to save my life, and some of my children are like me, so maybe this is not our best option.
Another family I know prays. Okay, so many families pray, but not like this one. Prayer before meals often becomes corporate prayer, with other people taking their turn as well, sometimes until the meal becomes cold. And they love it. At times I have wished that my family could pray like that, but we like our food hot, and many of our children are not too excited about public speaking.
We do traditional devotions. We are geeks. Conversations could last hours, and often do, though no one believes my children when they say so. But this is our way, and for the most part, we like it.
Other families do missions work. Their children have been feeding the homeless and talking to strangers for years. These children have never met a person they couldn’t speak with, and do not understand that some people think that Saturday mornings are for cartoons, and school breaks are for Disney Land. (And if they did go, Mickey Mouse would probably find out what it takes to be saved!) These families too make me wish we did more…
My point: Every family is different. (And here I have picked example of those who do one thing to an extreme. Most of us will find ourselves to be a mix of talents.) Wishing you were like another is futile. Yes, you need to share your beliefs with your children and train them well, but there are a variety of ways to do so. Figure out what works well for who God created your family to be and do it. And the best way to teach, the way we all teach, is by example and explanation. If you are not living well then all the hours of praise music, devotional time and prayer are just hypocrisy and are unlikely to have much affect on your children. So do the hard work of figuring out who you are (and it is hard work for this generation) and figure out a way to communicate God’s message in it. (And if one of the models I have shared speaks to you, go for it! There is great joy in following hard what God has placed on your heart.)