Have you ever tried to start a new habit? It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Working Unused Muscles
My Dad and I are trying to start several new habits this year. One goal is to be more consistent with exercise. We got a little lax over the summer months, and it shows. Today was our first weight training routine in a while. Boy, that was tough! I wanted to quit before I finished the second thing we were supposed to do. (I’m sure there’s a name for each movement in weight training, but I don’t know what it is. Can you tell this isn’t a passion of mine?) Still, Dad and I kept reminding each other why we needed to push through and keep going. He wants to get out of the chair on his own when he’s 90. I want more energy to play with kids. We can DO this! Our final stretching routine is an app that finishes by saying, “Congratulations. Well done.” That signals the finish of our workout. We both lay on the floor, completely spent, and repeated those congratulations. We did it! I’m proud of us! We persevered! We just have to be faithful and DO this, even when we don’t feel like it. It’s worth it, even when we can’t see immediate results. Keep it up! As I lay there today, I thought, “You know, this is a lot like Bible study.” Am I right?
From Weights to the Word
We don’t always want to read the Bible and pray, but it’s something we know we need to do. What do you do when the “don’t wannas” hit? Do you do it anyway or give up? I am not an athlete, but there are a lot of athletic metaphors in Scripture. Here are just a few:
12:1 “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
Phil 3:13-14 “…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Like parenting or anything else worthwhile, there is no secret formula for doing family Bible study. It’s simply reading the Bible as a family and praying together. That’s it. Simple, right? Now comes the hard part: perseverance. There will be days you “don’t wanna.” There will be days the kids are off the walls. There will be sickness, tight schedules, and any number of other distractions and detractions. Don’t give in. That’s the secret. Don’t give in. If there’s a day when life falls apart, pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and keep going. “Press on toward the goal” of discipling your children to love God with all they have, all they are, and all they do. That is the goal of Christian parenting after all.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons ” (Deut. 6 :5-7a).
Connect yourself and your family with the Lord your God. He will bless your (not always perfect) efforts.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:4).
Today is the day.
COMMIT yourself and your family to the Lord.
DECIDE on a time you will have family Bible study. It could be before bed, over breakfast, or whenever works best for your family. Commit to keeping that “God appointment.” If you find the time you chose doesn’t work, find a different one. Just don’t give up. Make it official by signing a family commitment like this one.
PARTNER with other parents with the same commitment to encourage one another as Dad and I encourage each other with our weight training.
Just start. Start today.
“…choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15).