Evenings can be chaos around our house. The timeframe from dinner to getting the kids tucked into bed feels like a triage ward at a hospital. Cleaning up from dinner, getting clothes out for the next day, and bathing each child is a whirlwind of exercise. (And that last one is about as easy as trying to wrangle a 30 pounds pig slathered in baby oil). Needless to say, by the time we get all the kids into a bedroom to wrap up the day…there is little energy left or motivation to make much intentionality happen.
But this part of the evening is a landmark for our family each and every day. It’s an element of our routine that anchors us. The routine we have is a mooring for our family culture. It helps us define who we are and what we are about. And it’s this exact routine that we had to work out, experiment with, and that we adapt and update often. It’s this part of our day I have had multiple interactions with other parents about what it should look like. For our family, the end of (almost) every day is when we have our family devotions or family worship.
I remember having to learn what this practice would look like for our family. We have tried so many routines, customs, and methods over the years. And to be honest, we still adapt quite frequently to what each aspect of our time together as a family may look like. But what to do for family devotions is not rocket science. It doesn’t require a Ph.D. in theology or family. And M.R. Conrad shares a good template in his article, “Family Devotions: Help! What do I do?”.
So after you get dinner cleaned up, have lassoed your oiled-up piglets, and finally, settle down together – try at least 1 aspect of these suggestions tonight. Start small. Maybe you can only get in one of these elements. Great. Next week try to add an additional element. Continue this pattern until you are able to sing, read Scripture, and pray together regularly as a family. Remember to lower your expectations – it’s not going to look perfect every time (we still haven’t gotten it perfectly right). But doing it consistently is what matters.
And if you ever need any practical suggestions, good resources, or just someone to commiserate with the fact that your toddler won’t sit still while you read and sing, reach out. As you run your trial-and-error process and find good resources or something that works for your family, please let me know. And don’t forget you are not alone in this pursuit. There are others on the journey as well and you’ll find them as you are with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.
Until Next Time…
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