Many families are struggling with finding food for the body and the soul. Some families are privileged to have the Internet; a majority have televisions and smartphones which they get materials to nourish their soul. The majority of Christians, including those who are online and following through with KUZA, are mostly focusing on personal devotion. Still, few have thought about how to extend this to the entire family. While personal devotion is essential, the joy of having family devotions is unexplainable. It should be the joy of every Christian to see every person come to know the Lord in person. There shall be great joy when your entire family gets to heaven, and none ends in hell. God has chosen you in that family to shine your light in that family for them to know God (Matthew 5:14-16). This article is aimed at helping you learn ways you can have a fellowship at home that will be centered on cultivating personal spiritual disciplines in your family. Any person can initiate a family fellowship; hence it is not only parents who can begin this.
Definition of Spiritual Disciplines
Spiritual disciplines are food for Christians. For us to reach maturity in the faith and for the fullness of Christ to formed in us; God has provided us with practices. Jesus observed these disciplines and mentored his disciples, who later made this their lifestyle. The early church was healthy because every Christian kept these practices.
Naturally, when it comes to feeding, everyone has to eat from their plate. You have to eat to grow as an individual. I can never eat, and you grow big on my behalf. There is a parallel truth between what happens in the spiritual world and the physical. You cannot just be telling people to pray for you as you seat and expect to grow in your relationship with God. It is only the person who has these habits that knows the importance of them. My work as a pastor is to lead the disciples of Christ to maturity and spiritual independence from me. Just like a parent trains their child to become independent from them. Unless you learn to do disciplines on your own, expect retarded growth in your faith or even deviating from the right path.
The Goal of Family FellowshipI
recently interacted with a hardworking business lady who leaves home very early and gets back late in the pursuit to ensure that her children get everything they need. Our conversation centered on her frustration on her children. After providing her children with all she thought they needed, the son used drugs, the daughter got a kid and had to stop schooling. She feared that her two kids in primary school might end up on the same path. According to her, she had done everything she thought necessary for the welfare of her children. Where have I gone wrong was her question. Many parents are crying and struggle with the same problem. While money is essential and providing your children with their basic needs, many parents have neglected the aspect of spirituality as a basic need for their families.
The biblical wise words of Solomon that train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it are neglected today (Proverbs 22:6). Children were left to school teachers and pastors to raise them. Parents should choose to build their children biblically now, or they will spend their old age solving problems that will result due to their failures today. You can choose to pay the price now and enjoy later or enjoy now and pay later. Today, if a parent is not raising their grandchildren, they are dealing with a child in drugs who seem to have lost direction in life or handling a marriage crisis of their children. Family fellowship with serve to establish the lives of the children in the ways of God. It is trusting that only God can raise and shape the character of your children according to his purpose. Family fellowship aligns your children to the one who formed them in the womb and to his will for them.
Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines
(Joshua 1:8-9; Psalm 1)Parents need to train their children how to draw wisdom from God’s word. Children should be able to have God as the source of their lives. Parents should appreciate that their days are numbered and the best person to trust their children to is God since He is eternal. Practicing the disciplines shows our dependence on God in every aspect of life. In His word, there is the wisdom of how to raise children, stay with your spouse, prepare for your departure on earth, deal with every difficult time in life, etc. Only in the book of God do we have answers to everything that pertains to human life.
Parents should help their children to memorize the scriptures. Having Bible apps on your phone to make it fun and guide your children to daily memorizing of Bible verses. Hold your child accountable in regular memory of scriptures by allowing them to recite the memory verses. Memorize, along with them to show them the importance of it. Buy your children’s videos on Bible stories or download those provided from the Internet. Seat and watch Bible stories with them perhaps once a week depending on your schedule. During family devotions, let everyone has the opportunity to share the word of God.
(1Thessalonians 5:17)The secret of prayer is only with those who pray. Many families have a habit of praying during meals only. While this is important, during family devotions, you find more time to pray for different requests. During this time, let each person has a prayer point to commit before the Lord. You can always pray in turns, and as time progresses, this will be a die-hard habit that will extend to the families of your children. The best inheritance you can pass to your children is the fear of God. Watching news together should not only update you on the happenings but also update your prayer requests.
(Isaiah 58:1-12)Fasting has both spiritual and physical benefits. Train your children to fast. As they grow older, start them off by just missing breakfast, the graduate to breakfast and lunch even as you move to one day as God helps you. During this time, share that day’s meal with a struggling neighbor. We have so many people in our vicinity who are struggling to put a meal on the table. It is heartbreaking for a neighbor to die of food when we have excesses in our stores. Some have little children and have done their best to find a daily meal without success. Having genuine compassion for the poor, the helpless, and the oppressed moves the heart of God.
The above are not all the spiritual disciplines that we have. Anyone is eligible to start a family fellowship at their homes. As one grows from this foundation, more ideas come that will be applied elsewhere as need be. We encourage families to pray together and study the word with each other. Extend a hand where there is a need and don’t allow your neighbors to struggle with daily meals if God has graciously given you more.