Did you grow up in a family of faithful believers like I did? Regular church attenders? Committed to the essential doctrines?
Even now, my parents, three brothers and I all live out our faith in our various communities.
However, the integration of spiritual conversations into everyday life was not too common when we were growing up. We all went to the same service, heard the same sermons, yet we rarely talked about it. My brother and I attended the same youth group meetings and retreats, but for some reason didn’t openly discuss its impact on our lives with each other. Maybe it is because my parents themselves did not grow up in families that had deep faith roots.
Thankfully, it’s not completely that way as adults. Yet at times, bringing up spiritual conversations can still induce that feeling you get when you stand in the dressing room, about to try on an outfit you liked on the rack, but aren’t sure how it will feel or look once you have it on.
Despite how I grew up, I knew if God ever blessed me with my own family, I wanted to approach things differently. It’s my desire to take the strong foundation my parents gave me, and grow even deeper roots in my home. I want to incorporate Scripture into natural conversation within my home at every chance I could. I don’t mean I intend to cause my children to suffer from spiritual whiplash with references coming at them from every angle. I just mean I want the thread of God’s presence to be as naturally woven into everything as a family as it is for me as an individual.
So now, with two little guys in my house, I try my best. Well, I’m not sure it is my best, but I’m working on it. I believe God has helped me to create an environment within our family to naturally and easily discuss the spiritual aspects of our ordinary lives.
During our before school Bible story and prayer time, I try to grasp what aspects of the story can directly apply to our lives, especially in ways to connect with my kiddos and explore it together. Or at least include it in the prayer.
As soon as we back out of the driveway, the boys close their eyes and individually pray for their day. Just before I park outside their school’s gate, they recite the Bible verses we have been working on.
I’ve only recently begun the work of having my boys memorize Scripture. I guess I’ve neglected it with them before this simply because it is a spiritual discipline I tend to neglect for myself. Boy, children are a great motivation for living by example, aren’t they? Anyway, I’ve intentionally been choosing verses which practically apply to their young lives.
Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14
Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves, do what it says. James 1:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22 & 23
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19 & 20
Going along with the wise words of Deuteronomy 6:9, we write them on the doorframes of [our] houses and on [our] gates. Well, ok, we write them on construction paper and tape them to the walls of our hallway.
After mastering the current verses, we carve out time sit at the table with Bibles and markers ready. We diligently copy new verses, then we stick them to the otherwise dingy walls we pass by countless times a day.
But it doesn’t stop there. We talk about those verses all the time. All. The. Time.
I find discipline becomes so much more meaningful and effective when lined with God’s Word.
When they argue with each other, I point back to the Bible verses they’ve written on their hearts.
Do you remember what Luke 6:31 says? How do you think you should respond to your brother right now?
Our apologies to one another often verbalize what we did or said did not reflect the fruit of the Spirit, who resides within us.
I’m sorry for yelling at you. It was wrong because I was not being patient.
Their simple bedtime prayers commonly contain words and phrases from these Scriptures.
Dear God, help us to have self-control.
Integrating God’s Word into our daily conversations helps us to integrate God’s Word into our daily actions.
I want that for myself and for my family. As the boys grow up (which they keep doing, despite my requests for them to slow down), I want the fusing of God’s Word and its application to grow more and more in our conversations. I figure if we do it together, we will each be more likely to genuinely allow God to permeate each aspect of our individual lives. What I want more than most things is for these twins to grow into men who love and honor God, wherever He takes them. I’m praying He uses my simple attempts at integrating His Word in our lives to be a foundation for the future.
How do you integrate God’s Word and spiritual conversations within your family’s daily life? What tips can you share with us? What challenges do you face in doing so?