Creating a Family Faith Journal: Capturing Moments of Encounters With Jesus

Families used to record many important dates and records in their family Bibles. According to one genealogist, “Family Bibles are sometimes considered official records despite their lack of ‘legal’ standing.” These records included not only birthdates, death dates, and marriages but also traditions, moves, and ways of everyday life.

Family Bibles are not common anymore, but the legacy they passed on is not one to be forgotten. Why not try a Family Faith Journal to remember God’s presence and faithfulness in your family’s life?

What is a Family Faith Journal?

A Family Faith Journal is a record of your family’s walk with Jesus and the ways God showed up. It could be as elaborate as a scrapbook with photos and stickers or simple with just a few notes on a calendar.

The purpose is to have a tangible way to remember God in the everyday life of your family, much like the Israelites in Joshua 4.

After they crossed the Jordan on dry ground, Joshua had a man from each tribe put a stone from the middle of the river in a pile. When explaining the purpose of the rock pile, “Joshua said to the Israelites, ‘In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground'” (Joshua 4:21-22, NLT).

When your children ask you what the journal is, you can tell them this is where God showed up for your family.

What Should You Include in Your Family Faith Journal?

You can include whatever is important to you, but here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Keep a list of blessings. You could track these weekly, monthly, or yearly, whatever best works for your family.
  • Miracles and answered prayers. The more we look for miracles and answers to prayers, the more we see them. By keeping them in your journal, you can share them as a family.
  • Spiritual disciplines you practiced. How has your family pursued Jesus? Did you practice generosity, celebration, prayer, or meditation? What did you like? What wasn’t for you in this season?
  • Express your gratitude. Research has shown that practicing gratitude has a powerful, positive impact on health and well-being. This is also an important practice we can model and teach our children.
  • Reflect on the year each quarter or in December. You could even reflect more often if you’d like. Here are some possible questions to consider:
    • Where have you seen God this year?
    • What hard things brought you closer to him?
    • How did you most enjoy being together as a family?
    • What Bible verses or stories were especially meaningful this year?
    • What were things that God did to surprise you this year?
    • What were 3 lessons God taught you this year?
    • Which characteristic of God did you experience this year?
    • How did you celebrate Easter and Christmas?
    • What were your favorite worship songs this year?
    • Did you create any new family traditions this year?
  • What big faith things happened in your family that you want to remember? We will explore specific ideas for these in the next section.

Milestones to Remember in Your Family Faith Journal

As with the family Bibles of the past, you can use your family faith journal to keep track of major milestones you want to remember as a family. These could even become a legacy you pass on! You know best what is important to your family, but here are a few milestones you might want to keep track of:

  • Births
  • Deaths
  • Baby dedications
  • Bible presentations
  • Baptisms
  • Salvation dates
  • First Communion
  • Confirmation
  • Graduations
  • Mission Trips
  • Jobs
  • Engagements
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Other significant faith markers

The Lasting Legacy of Your Family Faith Journal

I have one of my grandmother’s Bibles. It is an important part of my family’s faith legacy. I remember it from my childhood and knowing that it was one of the ways she connected to God holds meaning to me and my faith.

I hope that someday my children will also look back at Bibles, writings, and our family faith journal and see meaning in it. I pray they will see God at work in me, my parenting, and the faith that I passed on to them.

Intentionality in looking for God in our daily lives and yearly traditions is a significant opportunity to leave a legacy. It isn’t just the journal but the process of putting it together that can help your family grow closer to Christ together.

Psalm 78:4 (NLT) says: “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.”

Share this post:

Sign up for Family Life updates!

Get weekly updates from Family Christian on all things Family Life!

Additional Family Life Articles