Practicing Christian Habits as a Family
As a family, so many things are part of your world right now: school, meals, play, vacations, work, housecleaning, attitudes, and so much more. Many days you either think life is spinning out of control or maybe every day looks the same. Either way, you are forming habits in yourself and in your kids as you go through life. I’d like to take a minute to help you consider the habits you are forming.
First, let’s consider what a habit is. The dictionary defines the word “habit” as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. For those of us who are “creatures of habit,” we resonate with this idea of forming habits and we like it. We have routines, and staying within them keeps us happy. Others dislike habits or routines—something I can’t relate to, but see in those whom I love! Either way, like or dislike, habits are formed, and we are passing them down and teaching them to the next generation.
I would propose that you consider what habits you are forming in yourself and/or your family that point to Jesus and his kingdom. Here are a few to consider through the words of a few children’s songs that we all know.
Yes that’s the book for me;
I stand alone on the Word of God,
I hope you shouted it out! Many of us have sung this song to our kids before they could even speak. I was just singing it with my one-year-old grandson the other night. As you read the words of this song, what stands out to you? Here are some things to think about as we sing this little tune.
“Yes, that’s the book for me.” How do you and your family view the Bible? Is the Bible a book that comes out on Sunday only? Is the Bible merely an app on your phone? Do your kids even own a Bible? Perhaps answers to these questions will give you a little insight to the statement in the song. Is it the book for you?
“I stand alone on the Word of God.” There’s another strong statement in this little song. Do you stand alone on God’s Word? Do you view life through God’s Word? Does your family know that you value God’s Word more than anything?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Did you catch that it says EVERY good work? This is the book to read and know. Let 2021 be the year that the Bible becomes a regularly-read book in your family. Make it a habit that will last a lifetime and matter for eternity.
“Whisper a prayer in the morning,
Whisper a prayer at noon;
Whisper a prayer in the evening,
To keep your heart in tune.”
How’s the habit of prayer in your home?
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
I encourage you to develop a habit of prayer. Whether it’s a prayer of praise, a prayer of need, a prayer of thanksgiving, or anything else, let your family see who you turn to first.
“O, be careful, little eyes, what you see,
O, be careful, little eyes, what you see.
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So, be careful, little eyes, what you see.”
This song actually goes on to talk about what you hear, what you say, what you do, where you go, whom you trust, and what you think. In other words, who is the King of your life? Who and what encompasses who you are? Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Remind yourself that the Lord is present with you always. Make him the Lord of all.
I hope this encourages you to form some habits in your home that focus on your creator. Remember, you will never do all these things perfectly. But thankfully, God has not called us to be perfect. He has called us to be his humble, imperfect follower who brings him glory each day we are alive. He offers us ways to help us follow him. He also offers us forgiveness, grace, and mercy that are new every day. So, sing these songs in your head to yourself and keep following God. And remember….
“Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong;
They are weak, but he is strong!”
 Anna Bartlett Warner, “Jesus Loves Me,” (1859).