Family Life Tracts
The Family Altar (#229)
Bible version used: NIV
I once thought we didn’t have time for family devotions.
But one day I read a report that said the average family watches over 20 hours of television a week! I wondered if TV time could be eating up hours my family could be using to better advantage as Christians. So I did a quick check of our TV habits and realized we were watching at least 15 hours of television a week. I was shocked.
I led the way for better family leisure time. I quit watching one of my favorite shows. That gave us some time to relax at supper and talk about how our day went. As we began sharing our joys and concerns, we were soon praying together and reading our favorite Bible stories. That ‘family altar’ has become one of the most important things we do together. And it led to some important changes in how we spend our leisure time.
Changing habits is hard, and it takes time, but it can be done. Here’s how we did it in our family:
We talked it over thoroughly before we made any changes. As we discovered with diets and exercise, gradual changes were the longest lasting. So we concentrated on small steps.
I discovered that sitting in front of the tube was often a response to boredom. So we started looking for activities the whole family could enjoy. Following a minor league ball team in our town has been fun. A family in my church plays table games one night a week, and the kids love it.
By moving the TV to a less prominent place in our home, it takes more effort to watch something. Now, when we watch TV, we plan it as a family activity. We also talk about the shows afterwards, and I found my children to be smarter than I thought about dealing with some of the issues that come up in TV programs.
Changing the ‘family altar’ from the glowing screen to the supper table was the most important thing we did. God has really blessed that time of sharing, prayer and Bible reading. Our family devotions have become the foundation of our relationships with each other and with God.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11