As 2014 begins, how long do most New Year’s resolutions last?
Sadly, not long enough.
Mark 2014 as the year to set goals that will last into eternity: spiritual resolutions for your family.
How can your family grow spiritually stronger in the new year? Perhaps some of these ideas will provide a starting point.
Catch God’s vision for your family’s spiritual development
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 clearly instructs parents to be the primary spiritual influencers in their children’s lives. Church, Sunday school and youth ministry can partner with parents and support all that is spiritually taught in the home. But the responsibility does not begin here. It starts with parents.
Partner with your church
Some parents have a “drop-off” mentality when they take their kids to church. They rely on the church to handle all the spiritual training of their children for one to three hours a week.
The church is really more of a partnership, supporting what parents are teaching in the home. How can you best partner with your church in the new year?
- Contact your church and ask for parenting support, ideas and resources.
- Attend parenting seminars or retreats at church or in your community.
- Join other parents in a small group or support group and encourage each other in the parenting adventure.
Create a family plan that works
Parents can intentionally plan the best itinerary for their children’s spiritual journey from birth through high school. Here are some suggested family spiritual goals:
- Overall spiritual goals for the year for each family member
- Family theme verse
- Bible biographies
- Books to read together
- Bible reading plan for family devotions
- Family service project ideas
- Aspects of God’s character to study
Prioritize family devotions and spiritual activities
Start the new year determined to keep your family’s priorities in order. Determine what is non-negotiable in how you spend your time.
- Look for ways your family can grow spiritually together.
- Attend church regularly as a family. Share with each other what God is teaching you.
Pray as a family in the new year
Here are a few ideas to help your children grow in their prayer life:
- Give your children people and things to pray for. Suggest that they pray for hurting or lonely people in your church. Volunteer at a nursing home or homeless shelter to help your kids actually see the prayer need. Praying for others will help develop empathy and a servant’s heart in your kids.
- Help your kids start a journal. Journaling is a good way for kids to keep their concentration during prayer. It’s also a helpful resource to look back to months or years down the road to remember how God answered prayer.
- Talk with your kids about how God answers prayer. Be specific. Know what your kids are praying for and talk about what God is doing as a result. Show your kids that prayer is direct communication with a God who loves and cares for our every need.
May God bless your family in the new year!