Throughout the history of the church, a family’s main way of teaching their kids the truths of God was through family worship. Fathers and mothers would lead their family in the morning with reading from the Bible and praying together. At night the family would often gather around the dinner table and be trained in the catechism, memorizing of scripture, and join lively discussions centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This may sound archaic, but it provided a backbone of solid faith for countless Christians. And being built up in the faith not only allows one to know God more fully, but to stand strong in the Lord when suffering comes. And families with special needs in the mix need this solid foundation more than ever!
I can come up with a hundred legitimate reasons why it wouldn’t work in our family–feeding tubes, suctioning, squirmy kids, dishes to clean, homework to be done, etc. The truth is, we always make time for the things we value. If the thought of family worship sounds completely foreign to you, this is good place to start: Leading Family Worship. I assure you, after learning more about it, you will begin to see the value it has for your family. Real, lasting, eternal value.
Family worship is done simply in our home. In the morning as the kids are getting ready for school and Calvin is getting his treatments, I take a moment to read the Word with the kids, talk about it and pray together. After dinner, before the dishes are cleared, Darryl (my husband) reads the Bible. He asks the kids questions while reading to keep their attention and then the family discusses it after reading. With five kids from 2-12 years old, the conversations are lively and a little entertaining.
Sometimes we’ll add a book in to read before bed, just a few pages at a time. It’s a great opening to conversation and understanding of what is going on in your kid’s heart. How do you factor in kids with disabilities? We just teach our son right along with the rest, adapting what we need to. This will be different in every family, depending on the understanding and needs of the child. Even though he is nonverbal and cognitively impaired, the promises of God are true. He has promised to be the faithful grower of the seeds we plant with no exceptions or conditions.
This has been an incredible opportunity for us to talk openly with our kids about faith, the details of their lives and the questions and thoughts they have about God and disability. By opening the Bible regularly, we not only begin important conversations but also model the importance of seeking God each day regularly for all situations.
If you’ve never done family devotions, start simple. Open the word, talk about it and pray. It will build from there; I can’t wait to hear about the benefits that will start overflowing into your family’s lives.
I’ll leave you with a few book suggestions that are great starters for family devotions. We’ve used them all and have loved them! (click on each image for an affiliate link to Amazon)
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