There are many things in our world to take up our thoughts and considerations. Young and old, there are decisions about the future and choices for the next hour that take up a considerable amount of our brain time. Every hour of our day is partitioned off by schedules. Probably one of the first thoughts when we awake is to go over the day’s “to do” list in our heads. Hopefully there is a prayer asking God for his presence through those lists.
But what is the collective brain time for our families? What are the subjects which we consider together? No matter the ages of our children, are we inviting them into a family circle to consider things together? The alternative is that we become individuals living in the same space, sharing a few moments together but not sharing our thoughts and considerations.
Hebrews 3:1 addresses us as “those who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus . . .” Later in that chapter he gives advice that we “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, . . .” (vs 13-14). The context is for believers, but I wonder if it could also be appropriate for our homes.
I would like to give some practical suggestions how this can be done in our homes. It does not come easily in our rushed lives, but it is a deterrent of hidden sin and that is important.
- Dad and Mom, considering Jesus first begins with you. Make sure you are investing in each other and spend at least 15 minutes alone listening to each other’s heart. It’s difficult to ask your children to do what you are not doing.
- My preference is eating together. Make dinner time together and everyone sit together. If there is no table, sit on the couch together – just BE together.
- Turn off all electronics, media, or any other noise. Communicating with anyone else is not priority over family. Disconnect from the outside. This is training in priorities.
- Everyone has the floor to tell something about their day, from the youngest to the oldest. It has to be at least a paragraph! Follow up with asking others what they thought about it. You’re training listening skills.
- Make it a safe place where there is truth and grace. The word exhort in Heb. 3:13 means to be up close and personal. In other words, very engaged.
- Ask each member where they saw God working in their day. This trains awareness of His presence.
- Every family member offers a prayer request; what’s on their heart – and this is not a time to judge them. This trains the realness of God.
- Close with a word from God. Any member of the family can either say something they know is from God’s Word or read it. This is training to listening to God.
- Be consistent. DAILY considering Jesus is combating the DAILY input of the world. Every day is optimal to be serious about the above Hebrews scripture.