One of the most challenging things men must to do is to lead their family spiritually. Men ask me regularly, “How do you lead family devotions?” I have to admit that we have not consistently practiced family devotions. I have chosen seasons where we have sat down as a family to study the Word — but not every week — nor for that matter every month. What I have done is to teach as we go. I look for opportunities to teach practical lessons of faith as we do life together. Here are three steps to spiritually strengthen your family:
1. Look for opportunities to teach the precepts of God’s Word.
The Word of God is established precepts. A precept is an established order and command; it cannot be changed nor ignored. For an example, a precept is Genesis 8:22 which says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” This is an established order for the earth. Contrary to the global warming theory, the earth must obey this precept. The earth will maintain its seasonal balance.
Knowing this precept helps reassure your family and gives them confidence that God’s creation will endure. This doesn’t excuse mankind from proper stewardship regarding the earth. In fact, as a side note, the reason that the Israelites were captured and exiled into Babylon was to allow the land to recoup from misuse and disobedience of the Israelites.
2. Interpret the universal principle of the precept.
A precept establishes a universal principle. Knowing how to interpret the principle gives you wisdom for living. Let me give you an example. Deuteronomy says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” This precept teaches us how to treat a working animal in our service. Paul used this precept to apply the universal principle that ministers should draw their financial support from the work of the ministry. He said, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,”and “The worker deserves his wages.”
Help your family understand how to look for the principle that the precept establishes. By doing this, your child will be wise to the world.
3. Put the principle into practice.
Once you learn God’s precepts and interpret the universal principle, now you can put it into practice. An example for the principle stated above, King Saul put a heavy burden on his army during a campaign. He instructed that no man was allowed to eat until evening. Exhausted from the battle his own son, Jonathan scooped honey onto his staff and ate it. The honey brightened his eyes. When he was told about his father’s command, he said, “My father caused trouble for us today.” He said it would have been better if the army had eaten during the day.
As you study the Word of God, ask God to reveal this process to you so that you can teach and apply the Word to your family.