I’ve sung praise songs to my children since before they were born. I tell them Bible stories. I buy them their own Bibles when they grow big enough to read. As a family we pray on the drive to school, at dinner time, every night before bed, and anytime a friend gets the sniffles or breaks a bone. We give to church. We make meals for pregnant friends. We share the gospel with Grandma and cousins and the lady at the Walmart checkout.
I’m a Christian mom, right, therefore it’s my gut mission to instill a love for Jesus in my kids. Plus I know I first have to walk the talk, so I read my own Bible, attend Bible studies, and pray. My husband does all those things, too. Then our children see our faith in action and they want to be like us. They make up worship songs. They memorize verses. They read their Bibles and pray sweet prayers.
Great, right? Job well done.
I realized something recently. Among all these commendable efforts and spiritual disciplines, one thing is missing.
A big thing.
Perhaps the most important thing.
We spend a lot of time together talking about God and praying to God, and we each invest time individually studying God’s Word.
But we don’t study the Bible together as a family.
I’m talking about something different from reading Bible stories to the kids or memorizing scripture. Do you make regular family devotions a priority in your house? Do you dig into the Word together, examining how God’s instructions and encouragement should be applied to your daily teamwork?
Do you allow the Bible to transform the way you treat one another?
I sure want to. And I want you to join me. So I have just the thing to get us started. Undivided—Living FOR and Not Just WITH One Another is a new family devotional written by Mitchell and Rhonda Owens, fellow contributors on For the Family. Rhonda recently shared a copy of their book with me, and I was hooked from the first page.
Undivided is written on the premise that “We aren’t meant to just ‘get along’ with each other. . . .God’s heart is that we would be families that live for each other.” So true! And it begs the question, are we settling for “getting along” when God has so much more in mind for our family lives? Could we really teach our children not just to be kind and quit bickering but to actually live for one another?
Through a 12-week family study of the “one another” verses in the Bible—some of my favorite passages in all of scripture—Undivided helps us apply concepts of love, devotion, acceptance, building each other up, serving one another, carrying one another’s burdens, and more. Each lesson has a key verse and four sections: Learn It, Live It, Ask It (family discussion questions), and Give It (an application activity).
Why study the Bible together as a family? I’m sure you can come up with your own answers to that question. But one good reason occurred to me as I read in Psalms the other day:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul” (Psalm 19:7).
The Hebrew word for “refreshing” is “shub,” which means to turn back or return. So the law of the Lord helps us to turn back or refocus ourselves on who we are in Christ and what matters most. In other words, the Bible brings us back to the heart of God.
In this crazy world of schedules, demands, conflicts and distractions, what family doesn’t need that?
Today I’m happy to give away a copy of Undivided to one special winner so that your family can dig into God’s Word together. To enter, just leave a comment telling me why you think this devotional could bless your family. (If you’re reading this on e-mail, click here to hop over to the blog.) I’ll select a name at random and announce the winner next week.
If you don’t feel like trying your luck, you can always buy a copy of Undivided here.
Let’s transform our families together. Amen?