Confession II, Family Devotions

Family 1Last week I wrote the first post in a series of “confessions.”  That post was a confession about my “quiet time.” This week I’m posting a confession about family devotions, which will actually be a series of confessions.



  • We don’t have family devotions every night. Some days are too busy, and some nights are too late. Sometimes we are too exhausted, and sometimes we are too lazy. Honestly, sometimes we just forget.
  • Sometimes family devotions go “haywire.” When we do have family devotions, it doesn’t always go as planned. There are random questions, wrong answers, even disobedience and bad attitudes.
  • We don’t sing when we do family devotions. I know some families do this. Maybe we should, but we don’t.  We do read the Bible, ask and answer questions, and pray about what we just read together.
  • Sometimes our children shame us into family devotions.  This is often a ploy to delay bed time for 10 more minutes, but it happens. Many times our children initiate family devotions, to our shame.
  • We struggle to involve everyone (ages 1, 5, 6, and 10). We aren’t particularly good at doing family devotions with the entire family. Often, we read with our kids separately, using different resources.

So that’s my “confession” about family devotions. On a positive note, here are a few things we’ve tried to do consistently. We’ve worn out a number of children’s Bibles. We try to have a Monday morning prayer circle to start each week. With our oldest daughter, we’ve started reading parts of the Bible itself while journaling about what we learn. We certainly haven’t been perfect, but we’ve been consistent enough that our children know the basic routine. And, as I confessed above, often our children are the ones who shame us by initiating family devotions.

If you have given up on the discipline of family devotions, I hope you are challenged to lead your children in this practice, even when your family devotions don’t go as planned.

If you are trying to be faithful in the discipline of family devotions, I hope you are encouraged to know that even a pastor’s family struggles with the discipline of family devotions.

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. (Psalm 78:5-7)

Next week’s confession: people.

Originally published July 25, 2016 on