Today's Devotional Thought
August 16, 2010 by Wendy Foreman
We Will Serve the Lord
Many of you know that I have a teenage daughter. This past year was her first year in a public school and she was faced with many things that scared her and us. Her faith was tested and she really had to learn to stand on her own. We had many great talks throughout the school year and many arguments. And, it really brought to light for us, as a family, the importance of spending time together in prayer and devotions. Now, to be honest, we did pray every evening together, but the devotional time came when we would talk and were able to give her scripture or encouragement when she was faced with something tough at school.
Many of you out there have teenagers or small children who you want to grow in the Lord. Or, maybe you are a grandparent and want to have more of an impact in your grandchild’s spiritual life. In a recent article, it was reported that 42% of teenagers face issues with peer pressure, while only 3% reported issues with their faith. When I think back to being a teenager, I think I would have said peer pressure as well. My faith didn’t waiver that much, but rather it was all about learning how to deal with the peer pressure. I see that being the same today.
So, how do we help our teens?
Let me start by saying that I think the most important thing when dealing with your teenager is keeping the lines of communications open. And second, I recommend that you do not over react when they do come to you in those open lines of communication. This year was eye opening for me and I found times that I really just had to bite my tongue and let her talk. And when I did that, I could rationally talk with her and point her in the right direction and tell her why. We all want to be heard and acknowledged. And, I found that our children are not any different and I had to let her talk and know that she was being heard.
In today’s scripture, the end of the verse is highlighted: But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). What does that mean for you?
In this scripture, we see that Joshua is taking a stand for the Lord and he is going to lead by example. When you look at your family, are you leading by example? Are you showing your children or grandchildren how important it is to spend time with the Lord everyday? Do they see you taking the time to teach them what that means? If your answer to these questions is “no” or “I can do better,” then let me suggest a family devotion time. And, let me suggest the following ways that you could implement a family devotion time:
1. After you tell your children that you would like to have family devotion time, discuss with your children how they would like to see it work. Get their input on what they would like to talk about, how they would like to see it work, and any other details that are important so that they feel that they are a real part of it.
2. Set a time everyday to do your devotions and make sure that you set a time limit for your family devotion time (15 minutes for instance). If you go over the time, that is fine, but make sure you let the kids know that it isn’t going to go on forever. We do our family devotion time after we have eaten dinner when the kids are already at the table.
3. Establish with your children that the tone of your time together is going to be positive and upbeat.
4. As a parent, you want them to be engaged right away. To grab them, start with a story, quote, or question that is related to their interests or perhaps what might be going on around them. Then tie it into whatever you have decided to discuss in the Bible that night. Once you’ve done that, make sure you come back to tie in the biblical principle is to their world.
5. Let the kids have involvement with a question or a comment about what has been discussed. Ask them if they have any questions or anything else they have thought of during the devotion.
6. Always close with prayer and make sure you ask for requests that they may have.
I pray today that you have been encouraged and have felt compelled to begin a family/devotional time with your spouse and children. If you do already, then thank you for being an example and continue doing so. If you do not have a family devotion time, then I encourage you to begin one in your household. Our children must learn what it means to serve the Lord and our children need the daily encouragement that comes from daily devotions with the Lord. And, they are really only going to learn what that means by us being an example to them and leading them in what it means to stand up for the Lord and serve him with our whole being.