Your spiritual goals as a family are by FAR the MOST IMPORTANT. These are the bedrock and foundation from which everything else is built upon. Our relationships and walks with the Lord dictate how we are in our marraige, as parents, as children, as employees or employers, as citizens, as church members, as siblings and as people.
This post is hopefully one that will spur you on in the practical manners of how to implement a plan to add to and increase your walks and realtionships with the Lord.
Personal Devotions: Do you have a plan? Have you read through the whole Bible? Do you have a Bible study? When do you do devotions? For how long? How can you grow in it? What character issues do you need to work on? What is your plan for working on those?
My plan for my personal devotions changes based on the season of life I am in. I am currently 8 months pregnant with my 7th child so waking up early (which I prefer and usually accomplish) is not an option for me. Therefore, my devotional life takes place in the afternoon during nap time, and again in the evening before bed.
I am working through a study with my church called Self-Confrontation: A Manual for In-Depth Biblical Discipleship. When we are finished with this I will be studying 1, 2 & 3 John in Women’s Bible Study. I will then resume reading ahead for Sunday’s and Thursday’s. We are currently in Isaiah and Hebrews.
The character issues I need to work on are patience and not getting irritable. I have scriptures that I am memorizing and a detailed plan typed up as to how I am training my mind to approach situations that make me loose control over my emotions. I repent immediatly when I do raise my voice or get irritated, I confess my sin, and I ask for forgiveness. My husband and kids hold me accountable and know this is the area I am working on.
Personal Prayer: Who do you pray for? When? For how long? Are you practicing thanksgiving regularly? Intercession? For your spouse? For your kids? Members of your church? Your community? Government?
I have a time dedicated in the afternoon after my devotions to pray. I take notes in my small group (called a homefellowship) and I pray over each member and their walks with the Lord on a daily basis. I also pray over my family and church at this time.
My husband and I have a prayer time together every evening where we lay all the events of the day at Jesus’ feet and ask for His peace and guidance for the next day.
Church Involvement: Do you attend services regularly? Are you reading ahead for service? Do you attend Mens/Womens events? Conferenes? What are your gifts? What ministries are you serving in? Which ones do you want to start? Are you being discipled? Are you discipling someone?
We attend every Sunday and Thursday service unless we are ill or have sick kids. We make this a priority in our lives as much as is in our power.
My husband, myself and my children ALL read ahead for services and come with our own notes.
We attend ever single men’s and women’s event unless we are ill. We also have a conference in the spring and in the fall we attend as well as a women’s conference and a men’s conference. We think this is imporant and refreshing to our walks with the Lord to get away from normal life and retreat a few times a year.
We have written down what spiritual gifts we have and the ministries we serve in align very well with those gifts. We are always self-examining to make sure we are staying plugged in and serving the church.
I am currently being discipled and am discipling others as well!
Marriage: Are you and your spouse praying together? Reading the Bible together? Growing in knowledge and wisdom of the Holy Spirit? Are you supporting your spouce’s ministries?
My husband and I have committed to reading a Proverb and our of Charles Spurgeon Devotional together every night. We will discuss how what we read applied to what we faced that day. We will then spend a good 10-15 minutes praying together over the day and the following day. We lay our burdens at the Lord’s feet, we confess our sin to one another, and it’s a sweet time I enjoy and look forward to.
We have had seasons in our marriage where I am doing a LOT of ministry and my husband has come along side of me and supported me in it. We are NOW in a season where the ministry bulk is in his court. I am seeking to be more and more supportative and giving him the time he needs away from home, with others, or in his studies for the ministries he is called to. I love being the helper and taking care of everything so he can focus on what God has gifted him in.
Family: Are you leading your children in the Word, prayer, and worship? Do they have devotional lives? Do you have a plan for them? Do they know how to have a prayer life? Do they know their gifts? Are they serving in ministry?
Every January I pray and I revamp how I lead my children in their personal prayer and devotional lives. As soon as my kids can read, they start reading through a Beginner’s Bible. They slowly progress to reading it on their own during quiet hour in our home. They progress to reading ahead for church services and taking notes and they take notes in their class. They read systematically through the Bible on their own since our children’s ministry teaches straight through God’s Word this way.
This year the Lord has laid it on my heart to stress the APPLICATION part of reading God’s Word. They all can explain what a Bible story or passage means and what it means to them, but they struggle with finding ways to apply it and then ACTUALLY APPLYING IT.
So I created these Devotional Journals for them to work on this skill.
I have created a more directed Prayer Journal for them to fill out this year as well to expand their topics of prayer.
Once a week, on our Sabbath, we worship together as a family, pray together and share what the Lord has been teaching us. My husband and I bring out our notes from our personal devotions and the kids bring out theirs. We assist our kids in showing them how we have applied God’s Word and then challenge them in what they have applied. We wrestle over things in prayer. We reflect on how God has answered prayer. The younger kids learn how to worship without being a distraction.
In our Group School over breakfast we memorize a scripture together and read through whole books of the Bible or do studies on certain topics together. This is a great time since we often have to confess to one another how we already failed in the morning (laziness, bad attitudes, disobedience ect) and we get our hearts in check before our school day starts.
The kids are also involved in CKC (Calvary Kids Club) where they are memorizing and applying scriptures on a weekly basis and participating in activities that surround those memory verses. Aryeh is currently memorizing the whole Psalm 23 in his CKC book!
We are always seeking ways for our kids to use their gifts to minister to the body of Christ. Our musically gifted kids participate in worship ministry. They write encouragement cards to their friends. They bake cookies and treats to share with their classes. They learn how to use KeyNote so they can type up words to songs being used in the Sanctuary. They help with set up and tear down on Sunday’s and Thursday’s. They even started their own “Missionary Help Club” last summer and raised hundreds of dollars to send to a specific missionary our church supports. They wrote letters of encouragement to them and got their friends involved.
If your spiritual lives are not in order, then everything else needs to be put on hold until they are. You have nothing to pour into your husband or children if you are not grounded and rooted in God’s Word and prayer. You cannot homeschool an unruly child who is not grounded in God’s Word. You need to be participating in ministry in your local church and training your children to do so as well.
So go implement your plan mama!
It’s going to be GREAT!!