Some “Habits of the Home”

1Habits of the Home

Today I want to share some small things that you can do in your home with your family, no matter what the size. These are great habits that can continue to solidify your commitment to building a Jesus-centered home.

1. Family Verse. Every week, month or even year, your family can choose a verse from the Bible and then recite the family verse at Sunday dinner. For example, one family chose Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

2. Fishbowl Prayers. I think it is a good habit to make a point of adding some type of intercessory prayer at meals to make sure we make a habit of focusing outwardly as a family towards other people’s needs. I don’t do it 100% of the time because a) I’m generally hungry and b) I can’t often think of things to pray for on the spot. I read a story about a pastor who figured out an easy way to handle this by keeping a fishbowl in the kitchen. The family is invited to write prayer requests on cards or slips of paper and place them in the bowl. At meals, a member of the family pull one out at random and pray for that person/situation.

3. “One Meal” Fasting. In my personal life, I try to fast one meal sometime every week. No, I’m not Catholic. But it’s a practice I think makes a lot of sense for Protestants too, which is why I’m including it here. Why? First, fasting is a “time-honored” spiritual discipline and tradition that is BIBLICAL and theologically sound. It’s something we can all do together as families. Second, many Christians around the world do still fast from meat on Friday, so there’s also a greater sense of corporate fasting as the body of Christ. Third, the practice of fasting is ancient. Why reinvent the wheel when there’s something we can do that Christians have always done? We’ve been very good at keeping this fast, though it isn’t fully meeting my expectations yet in terms of focusing our minds on the things of God.

4. Thanks Log. I’m going to start keeping a “thanks log” in 2019. Whenever something good happens in my life, I am going to try to append a dated bullet point about it in an MS-Word document. I don’t want to make this a huge chore or burden, but I want to start compiling a list of “thank you God’s.”. It’s amazing the sheer number of things that go right in our lives on a daily basis that we don’t really remember or take stock of. Re-reading some of these periodically always helps keep me in a thankful and humble frame of mind.

None of these is earth-shattering or totally unique I know. That’s the point. They are just simple, small habits. But there’s no reason not to do small things as well as large ones.

What about you? Have any good habits from your home you’d like to share? Email them to rdugall@apu.edu because we need to be sharing what we’ve learned and what works with other people.

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