I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve found I get excited about the changes the first few weeks, then slowly, my enthusiasm fades, and I eventually drop the plan. Resolutions tend to fail when we overcommit and try to change too much at one time.
Instead of trying to change everything at once, I’ve found greater success when I’m intentional in one area of my life. Then, when I’ve made good progress in that area, I can move on to a new goal.
One of my daily goals this year is to get into God’s Word. We can try our hardest to change and “be better” at something, but we often fail when we try in our own strength. God’s Word is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) and a weapon of warfare (Ephesians 6:17). We activate the weapon by engaging with it.
A study from the Center for Bible Engagement confirmed the power of God’s Word. Statistical analysis revealed that Christians who were engaged in the scripture for at least four days of the week had 57 percent lower odds of getting drunk, 61 percent lower odds of viewing pornography, and 231 percent higher odds of discipling others. Wow, God’s Word is mighty!
Whether you make New Year’s Resolutions or not, something is exciting about a fresh start. And that’s what January is for us—a new beginning. So what if we took this new beginning and used it to refocus our attention on God?
Today, I want to share three steps to intentionally put God at the center of your family in 2024.
As a culture, we’re busier than ever. Whether it’s running our kids to the soccer field, basketball court, art studio, or youth group, we’re always on the go. Sadly, for many of us, we have a desire to read God’s Word, but finding the time to dive in is difficult. What if that changed this year? Reading God’s Word is one way to draw closer to Him, but in step two, I share more ways to seek Jesus as a family this year.
Assess the situation and develop a plan.
To set up new habits and rhythms, we must be intentional. The first step to success is taking a good look at our current focus. Before we rush to add items to our to-do list, we must take an honest look at our schedules. Where are we focusing our attention and energy? What takes up the most time in our week? And do the answers to these questions line up with the hopes and dreams we have for our lives?
If we want to build a firm foundation of faith in our kids but rarely find the time to go to church or read God’s Word, we won’t create the foundation we desire. Before we start adding new intentions and resolutions, we must pause and assess. What’s been working well? What needs to change? Are we happy with the focus of our family?
Start with one intentional change.
Now that we know what’s working well and what isn’t, it’s time to start implementing change. To prevent overload, choose one thing to prioritize this month. To get us started, I’ve brainstormed ways to draw the family closer to Jesus as a family below:
- After dinner, plan to read the Bible as a family for 15 minutes.
- As a family, choose a devotional to go through together.
- Plan a family worship night once a week.
- Create a family prayer journal and write down prayers and the answers when they come.
- Read the Bible three times per week as a family before bed.
- Choose a Bible verse to memorize together as a family.
- Pray as a family once daily – honor and thank God, ask for help, and pray for others!
- Plan a family fast. Whether fasting sugar for a week or lunch for one day, fast and seek God as a family.
- Serve your community together: Make a meal together and deliver it to a family in need.
As we purposefully seek God, let’s choose one item to start adding to our family’s rhythms. When the month ends, pause again and ask: How did that go? Is there anything we need to tweak? After the new rhythm is implanted for a month, we can move on to another strategy or goal to focus on as a family.
Get your kids involved.
Experts say kids are more likely to eat foods they’ve helped prepare. What if the same is true when it comes to adding in new rhythms and routines? As we seek God’s face, we must ask our kids to help us brainstorm ways to draw closer to God in 2024. We may be surprised by what we hear!
Instead of imposing a strict Bible study on our kids, what if we asked them how God works in their lives? How do they hear from God? What is God speaking to them about this year?
God is always working, but sometimes we don’t see it because our spiritual eyes aren’t fully awake. We must be intentional in our faith walks, and slowly adding in new family rhythms is a great start to being more deliberate. In 2024, let’s be purposeful about seeking God with our families.