Drawing Closer to God as a Family
In the shadows of a global pandemic, many families are spending more time together than they have in years. Stay at home orders, event capacity limits, and gathering restrictions have all led to homes being occupied far more than they otherwise would be.
As we all know, every family is different, and this time together has meant different things for different families. For some, it has been a positive time to reconnect around board games and family movie nights. For others, it has been a time where they are simply rubbing shoulders more with their family members but still keeping their distance. And for others, it has been a challenging time where family tensions and challenges have risen to the surface amongst the stress of a global pandemic.
Most likely, your family has experienced a mix of all of these realities. Some days you feel closer than ever and other days the stress and proximity has you wishing for more space and time to yourself.
Whatever boat your family has found themselves in or if you feel like you are constantly jumping from one boat to another, know that it is normal. It’s normal to have tension arise amongst people you are in proximity too, especially family. It’s normal to feel close and be laughing one moment and arguing the next. Give yourself and your family grace as each person within your household is processing the ever changing and uncertain times we have been living in in their own ways.
While it is likely the increased time of togetherness has created some tensions within your home, this is also a time where families can be drawing closer than ever before. In a world where we constantly see families hurting and under attack, now is the time to be intentional within your family. Will your family walk out of this season stronger and closer to God?
What can you be doing to draw your family closer together and ultimately closer to God?
Your best defense against the challenges and tensions this life is bound to bring through your family is going to be a solid foundation on Christ. A family drawing closer to God together will not be easily shaken when life gets hard or global pandemics hit.
It’s not too late. You can start today.
We have gathered a few of the best ways you can be intentional to pursue the Lord alongside your family. If you are seeking to bring your family together on the foundation of Christ, implementing even one of these tips will have you well on your way.
Drawing Closer to God and Each Other
Praise and worship alongside your family is a sure way to draw you closer to God and to each other. The Bible says in Matthew 18:20, “where two or more are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them”
You do not have to play an instrument, or have the perfect living room set up, or even be a brilliant singer to worship with your family. This may feel awkward at first, but God is not looking for perfection. He is looking for your praise, no matter how it might look for your family.
This could include playing worship music in the car, singing in the kitchen while you make dinner, or just playing worship music through your home as you go about your days.
It does not always have to be serious, make it fun for your kids by adding dance moves or actions to each song. It’s all about living in the presence of God. When you are seeking his presence in this way, you will notice it throughout your home and the people in it.
Praying together can be a powerful way for your family to connect to God and to each other. Praying out loud can be awkward for families at first, but the more you do it the more comfortable everyone will be.
Modeling prayer for younger children can help them grow up to have a deeper connection to the Lord through their individual prayer life. Praying with teenagers can help set a solid foundation in their faith as they become adults.
Taking the time to pray together can also offer a point of connection for families to share prayer requests and connect on a deeper level.
Watch the faith grow within your family and the peace multiply within your home as the Lord answers prayers.
Read the Bible Together
Daily devotion with the Lord can be extremely important to our faith. The Lord desires for us to spend time with him and reading our bible is one way we can do this. Reading the bible on your own is definitely important and impactful but something special happens when you do it alongside others or your family.
Reading the bible together will offer different perspectives to bible stories you have read time and time again. Seeing the bible through the eyes of others helps broaden your understanding of both God and your loved ones.
Again, modeling this discipline for your family will build strong foundations of faith that can carry them into adulthood.
Not sure where to start? Search online for a family bible reading plan or find a devotional book that applies to your family to follow through together. It can be overwhelming when starting to read the bible. For young kids, utilize resources like the bible app for kids to find bible content for any age group.
There is no better way to grow closer to Jesus than to try and be more like him. In Matthew 20:28 the bible says “The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve.”
Serving others can be a powerful bonding experience between those who are serving. Whether you are serving coffee in the cafe at your local church or going overseas on a mission trip, the lesson is the same. We are not on this earth to serve ourselves but to be the hands and feet of Jesus through service to others.
Not only will you be blessing others through service but God will work in your heart and the hearts of your family through service. Serving together will draw you closer to God and to each other as you bond over your shared experiences.
Attend Church Together
Being a part of a church community with your family can be beneficial in many ways. Attending church will give you opportunities to connect with others families with similar values. Not only can you connect with other families but you can learn from each other and grow together through groups and other fellowship opportunities.
A church community will also give each member of your family a chance to participate in their own ministry experiences. From children’s, to youth, to men’s and women’s ministries, there should be opportunities for each member of your family to have their own groups within the church you attend together.
As the individuals within your families grow in their faith separately it can lead to collective growth within your family as you learn from each other’s individual experience.
Eat Meals Together
Gathering around the table for a meal at least one time a day will provide your family with a great point of daily connection. For young children “routine family meals can provide a sense of security and a feeling of belonging in the family.” Having this sense of security and belonging is an excellent example of the acceptance and security we can find in Christ.
“In a recent Columbia University study, 71% of teenagers said they consider talking, catching-up, and spending time with family members as the best part of family dinners.” If you can get your family into the routine of family meals together, you may be surprised how much everyone looks forward to it, even your teenagers. This will be an effortless way for your family to share about your days, the highs and the lows, and lead to greater connection and support amongst the family.
Spend Intentional Time Together
In addition to family meals on a regular basis, planning occasional special family times can grow connections between everyone in the family. Whether it’s a special trip to the beach, or a family vacation, or a fun birthday celebration, creating these special traditions will create memories for your family to last a lifetime.
We know we all feel our spirits lift when we have something fun to look forward to. Not only that, but taking time away from our busy daily routines will give your family time to reconnect to each other and the Lord in a deeper way.
Document Your Lives Together
With smartphones and social media, these days every part of our lives are documented. We can imagine in 30 years as today’s kids grow up, it will be fun for them to have such a clear view of what their childhood looked like through the pictures captured on our smartphones.
We do encourage you, however, to document more than just pictures and more than just the “highs” of life. Keep a family journal or scrapbook that you can pour more details into. Record your prayer requests and even challenges that you may be facing as a family.
Talking about these things will help your family open up to each other and be comfortable sharing both difficulties and successes. Most of all, as you record your prayer request and trails, nothing will raise your faith more than seeing God bring you through trials and answer prayers, which are also fun to record and look back on.
Lead and Challenge Each other
A loving and healthy family should love each other, laugh together, and enjoy spending time together. But they should also challenge each other and lead each other. Do not shy away from creating healthy boundaries and rules for your family even if they aren’t fun. Do not be afraid to challenge your children or spouse in areas of growth.
It is healthy to have boundaries, discipline, and leadership within a family. While it may seem difficult in the moment, ultimately, this will lead to closer relationships and deeper connections and safer families.
Where to Begin?
We hope that reading through these ideas and tips of how you can draw closer to God as a family does not overwhelm you. Know that you certainly do not need to do all of these things everyday or all at once.
Like we said, we know every family is different so not all of these ideas will work for every family. If you’re feeling inspired to make some changes to your routine to help your family draw closer together and closer to God, the best thing you can do is start with adding one of these ideas.
Starting with one new thing will help all members of the family ease into a new routine and understand new expectations. Once you have incorporated one, you can slowly add more one by one whenever you want!
No one knows your family like you and no one knows what will work for your family like you do. Get creative to implement these ideas in ways that will best serve your family. Ultimately, we hope you feel empowered to make the most of this extra time at home with your family to not only draw closer to each other but closer to God together.
The next generation of Torrch is on the way! Torch is a platform designed to help support families by connecting them to local churches, services providers, groups, and more!
Check out Torrch to see how your family can get better connected!