This may sound very basic to you, but for me, I was recently convicted about modeling daily devotion time to our kids.
Now I get it, I really do. We are all really busy, there are always things to do, blah, blah, blah. In my book that excuse is only getting me so far these days. I have realized more and more than we are in control of what we say yes to and how we design the lives that we are given. We have a choice to slow down. We have a choice to choose TV or reading or cleaning or painting or shopping or whatever. Outside of work, which we still have some choice in, we choose how to spend our free time. We have to say yes or no to commitments, activities, get together, etc. So in my book, there is time, if you make it, to read a few verses in scripture everyday.
We all agree that food fuels our bodies. We can't survive without the daily, or more specifically hourly input to keep us going, to keep us healthy and functioning.
As believers we understand that same truth to be said for our soul. We understand that without nourishment, we drown. Without refuel, our soul becomes weak. We need the constant reconnection, the constant reminder of God's unfailing love and kindness towards mankind. I would dare say that our own life demands this rekindling if it is to survive.
So why is it that we let this fall to the wayside? Why is it that this is the piece that we can't find time for? God had been challenging my heart in regard to this, but then my deeper conviction was clear as day.
How are my children going to know that daily nourishment is critical to their faith survival? I remember being in High School and all of a sudden I was old enough to be taught that this was important.
Well, if brushing your teeth are so important that we learn that from infancy, then why aren't we taught to teach our children this?
When this question hit me, I had no answer for it. I had no excuses for it. I had been praying to God to show me how to raise our kids to love him with their whole heart. I had been praying for wisdom in how to teach his word in a way they won't want to reject. This is one of the things that came to me and I had no reason with which to argue.
So if it is important to feed our soul as much as our body for not just survival but also to thrive, then how do I do that?
Well for us right now, it means we instituted "Feed your body, feed your soul" in the morning over breakfast. I didn't take a lot of time to create this name, it just kind of came to me when I was describing this to the kids.
We as a family discussed what the word of God is, how God gave it to us to read and be encouraged and find instruction in how to live our life. How it brings hope and healing when we are sad and lonely, and it teaches us how to love others. It is necessary to read the Bible to strengthen our faith, our soul.
Thus started, "Feed your body, feed your soul."
We basically pull our Bible during breakfast to read a few verses that can sit in our heart and on our brain for the day. The fact that we are eating and feeding our body is a convenient reminder to feed our soul.
Now you must know that this is NOT a planned Devotion, we have another scheduled time for that as a family. This is not a very deep and spiritual time. We don't have question and answer time, and we don't figure out a way to solve world peace. I have small children. I'm just trying to get them to hear three words I say most of the time. The important thing I am trying to pass along is
1. yes the word of God. I believe it is alive and active and when my children hear it, they are fed.
2. even more than that, we are trying to pass along a habit, a way of life, a discipline in creating a healthy faith life. I am confident they are not listening everyday, but what I also know is that when they are helping set the table, they also bring the Bible. It's already sticking. My prayer is that this will continue for them into the teenage years and long into adulthood. I want them to ask, "Have I fed my body today? Have I fed my soul today?"
We don't really have a plan right now. We started with the sermon on the mount. That seemed like a great place to start. Big suggested we start at the beginning and just read the whole thing, like we did with their kid Bible. I giggled a little cause I thought, I have always wanted to read through the whole Bible, so I guess this is how that could happen, except it will take four years to do a few verses at a time.
This is was one way that Paul and I wanted to practice our intentional living lifestyle as parents.