Did you know Grow Christians isn’t the only online resource Forward Movement offers for families? I’m honored to serve as the editor for Daily Devo: Devotions for Families, which we offer as an email subscription. I had no idea how much working with Daily Devo would change my life as a parent, but I’m thankful it did.
Daily Devo was conceived to be a tool for parents to use with their families as a way to incorporate prayer and scripture into each day. Four components make up each devotion:
- Read scripture and a meditation
- View a video or photo
- Act with a call to action
- Pray a simple prayer
The devotions are short, and can be read and discussed in as little as ten minutes. Of course, some conversations take much longer, but the point is, they don’t have to. I usually share with my girls in the car, or after school. While it’s great to share as an entire family, that could prove difficult. The beauty of Daily Devo is that once you read the day’s lesson, you can incorporate it in your life together at a time that works for you.
What’s surprised me most about reading, writing, and editing Daily Devo is that it’s made me a better disciple, and a better parent. First of all, I’ve never spent this much time reading the Bible… ever. One day in our Family Bible Study I found myself referring to Moses: who he was in the beginning of Exodus and who he became by the end. I wouldn’t have been able to have that conversation without daily lectionary reading.
I’ve become a better disciple myself through this daily engagement with Scripture and prayer. Since children follow actions better than they do words, my own growth has made a difference to our family. When I read scripture – especially the lectionary, where you can make connections between the readings – I change the decisions I make throughout the day. I feel closer to Jesus, and closer to the person that God wants me to be. Instead of complaining about traffic, I find the delay a reminder to slow down or leave earlier. Or, when we see an accident, we pray for the victims, responders, and families.
Right now, the Old Testament readings in the lectionary come from the book of Ecclesiasticus, which is full of rules and instructions on how to live. Here’s an example:
and do not be ashamed to be yourself.
and do not hide your wisdom.
For wisdom becomes known through speech,
and education through the words of the tongue.
Sounds more like the Book of Frances, my mother, because I heard many of these instructions coming out of her mouth over and over again. Reading this book fifteen years after her death helps me feel close to her, and also helps me to understand more about who she tried to be as a parent. She and my dad worked hard to teach my brothers and me how to be good people, and their daily Bible reading helped them do that.
I know the lessons my parents learned from the Bible helped them in raising me. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on passing on these timeless lessons of our faith on to my girls. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to read and write about Scripture for families each day. If our lessons might help you too, check out Daily Devo – and if you’re interested in writing, let me know.
Do you have a spiritual practice that helps your parenting? Please share!