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?
We are always looking for the next study that we will do together. As preteen angst has started showing its face, I want us to draw closer to each other as we draw closer to God!
I want my kids to lift each other up. We were just talking about this this weekend during play. This sounds like a great book!
Though I am a Grandma, I would love to share this with my children, and also learn along with them. Seems anymore, EVERYONE I talk to says they are too busy and don’t know what to do about it. Maybe with this tool in hand, we all could just slow down a bit and enjoy our family more. Would make a wonderful Christmas gift even before Christmas! How about A Wonderful Thanksgiving gift! Thank you for sharing this information!
Addie Teeters says
Looking forward to digging into this family devotional. My kiddos are almost 4 and 5 and we are at some pivotal training stages right now!! God Bless, Becky:)
I have recently pulled my kids out of school and started homeschooling. It seems that both my children are constantly at each others throat. We do daily Bible reading but this book sounds amazing, it would be nice to have a structure to follow. Thank you
Amanda Huntley says
My husband and I are constantly struggling with todays issues and how to teach our children the “right” path to take. We have been attending a church for 4 years that is gradually changing its stand on certain issues that we don’t necessarily agree with. I would like to incorporate your book into how we approach these issues with our children and in choosing the next step we take in guiding our children.This sounds like a fantastic book!
My children love the Lord but it often stops there. Their love for each other is usually 3/4 part fighting with words and 1/4 part loving with words. I would love for this devotion to show us as a family the way to change that to 3/4 part love and the occasional 1/4 part fight that is met with grace and forgiveness!
What great timing. My husband and I were just talking about finding a way for our entire family to become closer to God and have a better understanding of His word. This sounds like it would be great and help our children have a better understanding as well
Rachel Maarhuis says
I’m always striving to do better with family devotions. This sounds like a great book!
This sounds like the perfect book to help get my family back to studying the Bible together after a crazy and stressful move.
Thanks for always posting such uplifting posts. They always seem to be exactly what I need to hear.
Looks like a great resource! Thanks for the tip!
This book sounds like it would be an amazing asset to our family devotions! Thank you!
We are definitely missing this too. The first few paragraphs of this blog, felt like a day in my life, but we definitely don’t dig into Gods word together. This would be a great way to start that with my boys.
I’ve been looking for something we can do as a family that will really touch on loving each other as a verb and doing it daily! Thanks Becky!
We’ve been struggling at this house with being nice to each other…siblings fighting/saying unkind words, mom getting frustrated easily and showing built up anger from little things that happen OVER and OVER and OVER. Divided is what we are becoming. Undivided is what we need to be. (What I meant to say, is our darling children are perfectly kind to one another as are our husband and I to each other…because we’re a church staff family and the house is always clean, because, well…I am a Norwex consultant and I have all the time in the world to clean, always.) 😉
Haaa!! Of course you’re perfect. I assumed this about you. 😉
We do a whistlestop breakfast devotional together because it is better than nothing and I know we can be consistent but a guide that uses the living word to help my kids be for each other sounds literally like a godsend as we are struggling in that during this current season of life – everything is a competition between them. Thanks for highlighting this!
So, the title alone gave me a kick of conviction. I’d tell you I’m living FOR my kids… doing their laundry, cooking their meals, carpooling them all over God’s great earth:) But… living FOR one another in terms of clinging to the Word, building each other up, being on the same page in prayer.. hmmm… I may need some help to recover that beautiful goal I once had! I’d love a copy of this devo to help me refocus our mealtimes. (And maybe it would help me turn the conversation away from who let a stinky one in science class and who got the biggest boo boo on the playground at recess! Um.. just being REAL here:) )
Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom says
Becky, what a great devotional. My family has had many big changes the past 3 months–out of state move and a diagnosis of a life-shortening disease for me. We have been praying all through this, but to speak the Promises of God from His word and study them would truly encourage us in this time!
Kristy Miller says
Your post could not have come at a more perfect time. My daughter recently brought home a devotional booklet from church and yesterday asked if we could spend more time praying to God about all of the wonderful blessings we have. This would be a great way to help remind ourselves that our family is one of the greatest blessings and we can use it to help others as well. Thanks for this!
Oh Becky…so much want and so little time. How do we make time in our SO busy schedule for a sit down meal, with prayers. Let alone one with time and energy for discussion. My children need this for each other, desperately (and truth be told, my hubby and I do too). But when to fit it in? We are already struggling to fit in time after school and all the activities, to do our Awana verses and Sunday School Treasure Trackers. When do you find the time? Much love.
I hear you, my friend. Busyness is our greatest enemy to family bonding. Can we talk about “all the activities”? Is it time to let go of lesser important things in order to make time for the things that matter for a longer haul? I’m terrible at that myself, so believe me, I say it in love and solidarity. Maybe we can hold each other accountable. xoxo
This study sounds like just the blessing my family needs! My husband and I have been talking about finding a resource like this. Thanks!
Recently our family has faced some hardship with my job being eliminated and had to sell our house and move to an apartment. We have been trying to teach are kids in the middle of hardship, who to turn to… God. Would love to find something to do at night before bed and this would be great!
Kari S says
This book sounds like a great resource that we could probably jump back to once a year! I’ve been thinking about how to do family studies while our kids are so young. We have a 1 yr old so I know it’s all beyond him yet, but our 3 yr old is just starting to understand concepts like nice and mean, good and bad, etc. What starting age do you think this book would be appropriate for?
Hi, Kari! I think this book is doable for a three-year old; you would just treat it like a teacher’s guide. The language itself is written for the adult or older children, but the activities are designed for all ages. So you’d have the advantage of reading through the material and explaining it in a way that fits your family. That way you can kind of make it your own, using a well laid-out format. Make sense? Great question!
hi! this sounds great! we as a family have been looking for devotional material on our children’s level as we would like to start a family devotion time of an evening and could sure use some encouragement in striving for that loving environment that seems just out of reach some days! thanks for the emails Becky, they are an encouragement!
I must be honest, I skimmed this post but then I got to the part about living for one another and not just with one another, and it stopped me in my tracks. Thank you for this giveaway but even if I do not win this copy, this thought has sparked a flame that I’m going to pursue and put into practice! Blessings to you and yours Becky.
Sounds like a resource my family could really use. Love the title!
This sounds like a great book! We do read the Bible together as a family every night, but sometimes it can be hard to explain to kids how to apply that paragraph we read to what is happening in our daily lives. And what family doesn’t want to be living FOR one another?! 🙂
Thank you very much for posting this resource. My husband and I have been going through a tough time in our marriage (because we have fallen into the trap of living with each other). But we are both hopeful that things are going to get better through the power of prayer. This book would be a great resource for us to use on our journey back to a better marriage. We have two children and I am confident we could use undivided to help the whole family to live more for each other rather than just with each other. Thank you again, your Time Outs are definitely something I look forward too on my lunch break. ; )
This would be a neat tool to bring the whole family together and discuss the Word in a deeper way. We could definitely use some time learning about living for one another!
Destiny b says
This sounds amazing! It would be perfect for my family an where we are in our lives right now. My husband have had several obstacles to overcome which we have … All glory goes to God. We have an 11 year old daughter we are trying to keep grounded before she heads off to high school.and help her to understand some behavior problems we have been having wih her. This is just an amazing thing we could do as a family.
Hi Becky, I’m a recent follower for your blog who has since been chomping at the bit to find your next email in my inbox! Your words are inspirational and refreshing to me, as an often weary stay at home mom of four. I’d love to start working through a family devotional with my kids and my husband as well! I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I have been trying for the longest time to teach my kids unselfish love for each other!!! For some reason, siblings seem to be harder to treat kindly than strangers around here!!! One question: how you do you think is two young to benefit? Thanks again for all that you do! Ellen
Hi, Ellen! Welcome! I’m so glad you’re finding encouragement here. That makes me so happy. One of the things I really like about Undivided is that it can be made accessible to kids at any age. You could read it as a “teacher guide” of sorts for the parents, then explain the material and activities at an age-appropriate level for the kids (as young as two or three, I’d say), or for parents with older, kids, it’s the kind of book everyone can read and apply. That’s what I love about the “one another verses” – they can be taught and applied at any age! Blessings to you, fellow momma!
Sounds really good! I’ve been looking for great family devotions and this seems like a good resource!
Katie Ritson-Carter says
My children are all still very young (ages 7, 3, 1.5), but we are already trying to teach them their siblings can be their life long best friends. I think this book would be a great tool!
Katw Whaley says
It would be a good source to use as a new family to come closer to one another. We are celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary this Sunday
My family has just started to pray together at bedtime and I think doing a daily devotional together would help all of us grow closer to eachother and God.
I would LOVE to have this book. My family has just started foster care so “serving others” is a great study for us right now.
I don’t think I can count the times I’ve opened your emails and the topic relates to a situation, discussion, etc at my house! My husband and I were just discussing how we guide our daughter in her faith as she grows. She may not be old enough for this yet but I’m sure we could benefit from it. I’m putting it on my Amazon wish list! Thanks for sharing this with us all!
Leslie Harhay says
I have been trying to figure out how to go about getting my husband to at least consent to do a family devotion with us. If this is the open door I need to show him, I pray you pick my name. We go to church together, but that’s about where it ends, so I keep praying and doing my own reading because God is good and will make a way!
Golly, good to know I’m not alone! I know my girls love God but MAN can they dish it out on each other. I sometimes scratch my head and think “where is the disconnect!?” This sounds like a great guide to help get everyone on the same page. : )
It would be great to start our family devotions with!!!
We just had child #4, and while loving the baby comes naturally, we are constantly working with the 7, 5, & 3 year old on treating one another the way the Bible teaches. We love to read their kids’ Bible at dinner but would love to go deeper with this. 🙂
This looks like a great devotional! I am really excited about it! Becky, can you tell me: as a divorced mom, will this book be a fit for us? I have 3 kids, ages almost 9, 7, and 4. I want to be purposeful about this, but I would shy away from it if it is geared toward families that have a mom and a dad.
Great question, Vicky, thank you for asking. The devotional doesn’t focus on marriage or the role of mom and dad united so much as it encourages children to respect and encourage their parent(s) and siblings. I do think you can draw a lot of value from it without an emphasis on Dad. It works well as a read-to book, since the language is written at an adult level yet accessible for kids to understand. So you can read the lessons and questions to your kids and just paraphrase anything that mentions a dad. I’m sending you a hug today, fellow mom!
When I was young I went to parochial schools all the way through college. I was given the opportunity to hear Gods Word everyday. Now that I have kids of my own I have really struggled on how to incorporate God into my kids lives. They attend public school, Sunday school doesn’t work out for us at the moment, and it’s hard to get what I need out of church when I am takimg care of our 3 children the entire service. I need that feeling of fulfillment but am really struggling trying to incorporate it into out lives. I did not think it would be so hard to bring God into our lives more but I am at a loss on where to start. I have googled good devotional books for kids but have become overwhelmed on where to start. Hoping this is the start I need.
Su Ann says
I think this book will be just what our family needs right now. The devil has our family under attack and it is hard. thx
Katie @ Wonderfully Made says
Becky, I want this devotional! I’ve been trying to figure out what’s missing in our family dynamic and I believe this might be the missing piece!