by Mark Batterson
The start of school brings with it a new routine to life. Leveraging those new routines for spiritual purposes is one key to parenting.
I’ve got to say this up front. I’ve FAILED at family devotions more than I’ve succeeded. I could write a book on how not to do it. But last year I discovered a new routine that works for our family. I take the early shift getting up with Parker (15) and Summer (14), and Lora takes the late shift with Josiah (9). We spend 10 minutes reading a scripture and praying together. We’ve read through Proverbs. We’ve used a one-year Bible. We’ve done devotionals and different books of the Bible. But I’ve found that the content is less important than the habit. It’s about creating a touch-point at the beginning of the day where you can speak prophetically into the lives of your children. Sometimes it’ll seem like they are so tired they aren’t even hearing you. Trust me, they are! Sometimes it’ll be tough to get up earlier, but those devotions will pay dividends the rest of your life, and theirs!
Those 10 minutes are the most important 10 minutes of my day. It’s more important than pastoring. It’s more important than any other meetings I’ll have during the day. Nothing is more important to me than my family, and one of the ways I prove it is through consistently leading them in those morning devotional times. I have to warn you: it’ll take tremendous determination. Most days, our devotions are anything but exciting. I’m just being blunt. And you’ll hit a few bumps in the road when you’re tempted to throw in the towel. But if you begin the day in prayer, you’ll pray throughout the day. You may not see the investment pay off immediately. In fact, you may not see the dividends until your kids grow up and have kids of their own. But that simple touch-point could prove to be a turning point in your family.
Just do it.
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. One church with 10 services in six locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations. The vision of NCC is to meet in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the DC area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill.
Mark has two masters degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of the best-selling books: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity and Soulprint.
Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.