Depending on your story and your context, the list of “what a good Christian family does” will vary. Devotions. Bedtime Bible stories. Prayer together at certain times. Kids worship music in the car. The list of choices is long.
You may find yourself wondering, then: should we be doing [insert Christian thing-people-do] in our family?
My 2 cents? That’s a firm… maybe.
There is no one right way to be a family of faith. So instead of starting with how, we should step back, because your goal and your family culture shape how you go about being a family of faith.
Your goal is to give them time, space, and experiences that help introduce them to God, so they can get to know God.
Your family culture is shaped by many factors: your story, your family make-up, your social location, your values, and more.
Which means the how is unique to you. It should feel like you all.
So here’s some help to find your family’s how.
It involves 2 main steps:
- Pick your practices
- Find your rhythm
FIRST, PICK THE RIGHT PRACTICES (FOR YOU)
You might ask yourself, and/or talk with your partner about:
- Why are we doing this practice?
- Does it fit who we are?
- What do I hope this practice forms in us over time?
- Does this practice stretch us, but in a good way?
- Are we doing this because I think we ‘should’?
- Do my kids seem to enjoy or resist this practice?
How many practices you pick is also, of course, unique to you. But what if you tried…less? What, for example, you just had 3, and just did those 3 for a while, and then circled back?
SECOND, FIND YOUR RHYTHM
Rhythm is about when you do your practices, and has 3 buckets, frequency, time of day, and duration.
- Frequency: Does this practice make the most sense if it happens daily, weekly, monthly, even annually?
- Is it ok for this practice to happen when we feel like it? Or should it be a commitment we stick to?
- Time of day: When do we all (kids and adults alike) have the best energy for this particular practice? For instance, your kids may have a bedtime energy that just doesn’t match the beautiful, calm worship playlist you’d like to have on.
- Duration: Do we have any practices we find helpful, but we need to adjust how often we do them or how long they last?
Finally, treat this like an experiment. Try what sounds nice, and then circle back after 4-6 weeks to see what you’ve noticed.
And if you’re not sure: Think SMALLER, SHORTER, and SIMPLE
What’s one faith practice your family does and loves? Is there something that you know works for others, but isn’t for you? I’d love to hear.