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Do you spare time for family devotion?

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd October 2007 03:00 AM

DO you spare time to pray with your family? It might sound insignificant, especially in a fast-paced society, but family devotion time is like daily bread for any healthy family. I still have fond memories of my mother conducting prayers every night.

DO you spare time to pray with your family? It might sound insignificant, especially in a fast-paced society, but family devotion time is like daily bread for any healthy family. I still have fond memories of my mother conducting prayers every night.

Wagwau Jamesa

PARENTING


DO you spare time to pray with your family? It might sound insignificant, especially in a fast-paced society, but family devotion time is like daily bread for any healthy family. I still have fond memories of my mother conducting prayers every night.

Sometimes we would be asked to kneel and other times the entire family would hold hands as mummy led the prayers. Although I would doze off before the prayers were concluded, the family devotion was a time worth looking forward to. Those times not only created exceptional family bonds, but have also instilled in us the fear of God.

Ever heard of the saying, ‘families that pray together, stay together’? Family devotion is that special time when a family comes together to hold prayers. It does not have to be a big-time activity. The tradition of family devotion may be as simple as telling stories and prayers before bedtime or having family members hold hands in the morning before facing the day. Because these traditions have meanings that are special to the family, they create feelings of warmth, closeness and uniqueness. The tradition of family devotion can build a feeling of stability and from it family members derive a strong sense of belonging that remains with them for years.

A research done at George Washington University’s Family Research Centre indicates that family rituals such as holding devotions provide a hidden source of family strength. Family devotion can help pull a disintegrating family back on track and provide an affectionate setting for dealing with day-to-day conflicts.

Modern lifestyle has made it hard for many families to spare time for devotion. Any family can build a tradition of family devotion, irrespective of its religious beliefs. It does not have to be too formal. Let it be relaxed and emotion-laden. It should be a time when the family members can lay their hearts bare and ask for forgiveness from each other. There are a number of things that your child might not tell you directly, but prayers give them a chance to air their grievances.

You could give your three-year-old the task of leading prayer before meals. Such activities make children feel part of the family and instill a sense of belonging.

Have you ever listened to a conversation held by family members who have missed each other for a long time? They always remember fondly the good old days gone by, especially the moments that used to hold the family members together. Since such rituals build a bank of memories that will not fade even with age, your children are likely to carry the ritual of family devotion to their own families in future.
You could also utilise devotion time to express love not only to each child but also to your spouse.
Peter Hammond in his book, Raising God-fearing Children, points out the need for parents to let their children know how much they are in love with each other. Such love shapes your children’s attitude towards the opposite sex and gives them a sense of security. If you want a united family, be united in prayers.

jwagwau@newvision.co.ug
0772-631032

Do you spare time for family devotion?

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