As Christian parents, our primary desire for our kids should be that they become followers of Christ. While we may have other goals and dreams for them, this should be primary. If it going to be than we must recognize our own responsibility in their discipleship.
Being our kids' primary disciplers can be good or bad depending on our level of intentionality. As we model for our kids what's important, they catch on. Our kids will end up worshipping the things we worship. So, what are you modeling? Is it a love for God and His Word or is it a love of your smartphone? Don't get me wrong, I'm not against smartphones. I have one and use it regularly. What I am against is letting that smartphone (or anything else for that matter) get in the way of my kid's spiritual development. The problem with this is my natural inclinations. Being the selfish introvert that I am often kills any desire I have to be intentional. With that in mind, here are three realities for family intentionality--three realities of family devotions:
1. This is our RESPONSIBILITY
God has gifted us with children. He has entrusted parents with the responsibility not only to provide and protect but also to nourish and mature their whole beings. That means helping them grow, like Jesus did, "in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52 ESV). This is holistic growth: mental/emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational. This is our responsibility as parents. We must shepherd our kids towards maturity.
2. This is beyond our CAPACITY
Our kids didn't come with instruction manuals. None of us was truly prepared for having children--no matter how much we had read. God knew this when he blessed us with them. We need to turn to Him and put our trust in Him. We need to recognize that before these kids are ours, they are His.
3. We must be GROWING DISCIPLES ourselves
They only way that we can lead our family devotionally and be faithful to mission of making disciples in our families is to be growing as disciples ourselves. We can't effectively lead our kids in a direction we aren't going ourselves. When we try, we make ourselves out to be hypocrites and will end up frustrating our kids-- leading them to be bitter about spiritual things. We must teach them what God is teaching us. That's what faithful discipleship looks like. We can't give them what we do not have ourselves.
When the gospel is important to us, it will be important to our children. When they see a living and passionate faith, they will desire it for themselves. Our kids will end up valuing what we value. What are you teaching your kids to value?