Are There Family Devotions In Your Home?
What is a home? Talmage said it is "a church within a church, a republic within a republic, a world within a world." He added: "If things go right there, they go right everywhere. If things go wrong there, they go wrong everywhere."
Family devotions need to be reinforced or reinstated in Christian homes everywhere. Homelife is threatened today by false ideologies and subtle pressures carried by every wind that blows. The dregs of society will today lead many homes to tragic destruction. Only prayer and the teachings of the Bible will save our homes and preserve a Christian way of life.
Moses said: "These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (Deut. 6:6-9).
Godís people were commanded to carry these words of Scripture into their daily living. Parental instruction put first importance in the remembering of Godís commandments.
Instruction in Personal Experience
"These words...shall be in thine heart." Someone has said, "It is better to know one verse of Scripture in your heart than ten verses in your head." Family devotions must begin with me. If I fail to learn the experiential truth of Godís Word, then I may fail in trying to implant these truths in the hearts of my family. It is not enough for me to memorize truth. I must know truth. I must let Godís Word sink into my heart and allow it to warm my life before I am ready to instruct my family.
Instruction in the Home
"Teach them diligently unto thy children." Children are self-willed. They will never intuitively develop into Christian believers without instruction. Good secular education is not enough. Religious education must have priority; and it must begin not in the church, but in the home.
The church can reinforce the familyís Christian education, but of greatest influence upon their lives will be the education children receive at home. To leave Christian education to the church would be a tragedy.
One avenue of instruction is by informal communication. "Talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." It is a never ending process. Great lessons are taught during times of play and leisure. It is then children with their parents learn of Godís power, and of His mercy and love.
But there can be methodical instruction too. Memory work, handwork, music, and other activities can play a vital role in developing Christian character and understanding.
Of primary importance to the family is a regulated time, each day, for devotional Bible reading and prayer together.
Instruction in Christian Conversation
"Talk of them." Words have power. We waste opportunities by speaking of idle things. The Psalmist gives us an example: "I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed" (Psa. 119:46).
The greatest legacy you can leave your children is sound Christian nurture. By training up your children in the way they should go, they will not depart from it when old. Because of this, family devotions must be given top priority in a Christian home.