Dad, have you ever felt like a failure for skipping your family’s devotions – for a week? A month? A year? If you are like me, you get excited about a great new devotional book or plan and sprint out of the starting gate. Remember, all the horses in a derby run together for the first ten lengths. But, as the race goes on, the jockeys in the back give up trying to win. That’s what happened to me. I’d jump in with both feet, but then the busyness of my schedule or simple forgetfulness would slice my tires. Like a challenger in a heavy-weight fight, I’d get clocked and find myself down on the canvas.
Neven Pajkic was the first boxer to knock Tyson Fury to the canvas with a solid right to the face. What did Fury do? He got back up again and knocked his opponent out in the very next round. Fury fell, but he did not stay down. That is what we dads need to do with our family devotions. If you are flat on your face with the canvas rubbing your cheek raw, get back up and fight. Don’t stay down for the ten-count.
Solomon gave this advice to his boys “a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,” (Proverbs 24:16 NASB). Notice in Solomon’s proverb that the man who falls and gets up again is called righteous – even after falling seven times. That doesn’t make you a failure the eighth time you fall. Solomon said getting up is always the right thing to do – even after the tenth time. So, here is my advice for all you dads that want to do family devotions but are not: get up off the canvas! Remember, only those who refuse to get up will truly fail.
If you are wondering what to do and how to do it, don’t worry. I’ve written many family devotionals for guys like me who don’t have time to figure out what to do. My books Long Story Short (Old Testament) and Old Story New (New Testament) provide plug-and-play devotions for your family that only take ten minutes to complete.
Get a copy of one of my books and set it next to where you sit at dinner time. Then, plan to open it up and read it after your meal; before your dessert. Buy a carton or two of ice cream and follow this simple equation for family devotion success – dinner, devotions, dessert -in that order.
Over time you’ll go through a lot of ice cream and potentially gain a few pounds, but you will disciple your kids in the process. And as for falling, don’t worry. With ice cream on the line, your kids are sure to remind you when you forget.