I’ve either heard or I’ve made excuses for not having family devotions. Here are the top five:
1. I’m not qualified.
Do you feel unqualified to lead family devotions? You’re not alone. Most people do! If you can read, then you are qualified. This is a time for everyone in the family to grow spiritually (even you!) So, find a good quality devotion book and a Bible. You’re good to go.
2. I’ve never done it before.
Also known as “I didn’t grow up doing devotions” or “I don’t know the right way to do it.” I suggest you have a format you want to follow, but really there isn’t one right way. It’s what works for your family. Many people do a Bible reading, then read a devotion from a book, then pray together. That’s it. I’m sure you do other things that you didn’t do growing up. How did you approach those things? If they were important to you, you found a way to do them. Jump in and get started!
3. We don’t have time.
Most families are really crunched for time. I know that my family relies heavily on a shared calendar. If this is important enough, it will find its way into your life. Kind of like your favorite TV show or something like lunch. You’re busy, but you make time for what you value. Put it on the calendar and try out a time. If that doesn’t work, then try a different time. Meet once a week to start with. Try finding a time when you’re all together already. If everyone gathers for dinner a few times a week, then maybe you can work it into dinnertime.
4. My family won’t go for it.
Don’t play the martyr. If you have tried everything, but your family really doesn’t want to do family devotions, don’t feel like they’re all against you. Simply announce that you will be reading the devotions at a certain time, and they are invited to join you. If they say no, you can do it anyway. Keep reading. Keep inviting. At the least, they will see your priorities and remember what is important to you.
5. I don’t feel like it.
Come on. Admit it. This is something you’d never say as your first excuse, but it might be more the truth. Maybe now is not the best time for you to start devotions, but if you wait until it “feels right” you may never do it. And, years later, you might feel guilty for never trying family devotions. Regret can be a great teacher, but it’s not too pleasant. Don’t regret having never tried.
I encourage you to give family devotions a try. As the kids grow up, you’ll probably need to change things up. I’ll be sharing some creative things you can try with your family in a future post.