We live in an ever-changing world with gadgets and social media, creating the need to be connected and current with the world. Life as we know it is getting busier and busier. With the current situation in the world, working from home and home schooling has been thrust upon a lot of parents. Many parents get to the end of the day feeling tired and exhausted only having to then wake up to repeat the same thing the next day. Often, we as parents wonder where we can get the extra time in our busy schedules to include fun time, not to mention time to pray together as a family.
We must ensure we don’t fall into this trap. Having a specific time when we gather together as a family to worship and pray together must never be neglected. The family altar – the time a family dedicates to fellowshipping in God’s presence together – is fundamental and must be maintained at all costs. Here are a few reasons why the family altar is important:
1. The family altar is the place where we are empowered for victory as a family. (Proverbs 27:17)
2. We are able to gain victory and deal with spiritual oppositions even before they arise or manifest. (Luke 11: 24 – 26)
3. The family altar is a place for spiritual mentorship for every member of the family especially the Children. (Proverbs 22: 6, Genesis 18:18-19).
4. The family altar is a place of supernatural encounter for the whole family. (Genesis 22: 5)
5. The family altar promotes love and unity. (Psalms 133:1, 2 Timothy 1:5).
No matter the ages of their children, families must plan to spend quality time together praying and in study of the word, as it will never happen by chance. We can see from scriptures the best way to be purposeful and intentional. Deuteronomy 6: 6 – 8 says:
“6 And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
First and foremost, use every opportunity you have as a time to talk about God and His goodness. Whether you’re at home relaxing, watching TV or doing jobs around the house, thank God for His provision and strength to do these things. When you are taking a walk in the park, remind your children of the creation story whilst mentioning how God made the grass, the trees and the birds. Seeing a rainbow on a rainy-day is a great opportunity to talk about the promise of the first rainbow. At night time, give thanks for the day you’ve had, the things you’re thankful for and the things you are looking ahead for tomorrow. When you wake up the next morning you begin the process again with fresh zeal and commitment. Deuteronomy 6: 6 – 7 (NLT) says:
"And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children."
Secondly, have a set time in the day, especially after dinner, at the dinner table or just before bedtime, to have a dedicated time of study and prayer. Children work well with routine so make sure to keep to this time throughout the week. Ensure this time is age appropriate for your children (read more about this in our next newsletter).
It takes intentionality, discipline and creativity to find ways to engage your children in faith – but it’s never impossible! Make sure you are spending your own quality time alone with God. Your children will learn the importance of spiritual discipline if they see it demonstrated in your own life. It’s never too late to start. Start today.
God bless you