I am in the process of developing a spiritual development plan for my family and me. My wife and I have five children and we are constantly talking about ways we can share God’s truth with our children in age-appropriate, practical and significant ways. I do not know about you, but I have tried many different Bible study plans and approaches for my family, many of which have either been too extensive, or to watered-down…sometimes inevitably leading to doing nothing. My desire is to make our family’s interaction with God and His Word casual and a natural part of our lives…but as all parents know, without a plan, chaos is sure to follow. SO…I have begun putting something down on paper that I think is the best of both worlds…something that is casual and interactive!
Basically, what I am developing is something I am calling, 7 for 7: Seven Words for Seven Days! There are 7 days of the week (and for us, there are seven members of our family; not real significant for the study, just a neat reality for us), and each day of the week will have a certain spiritual concept that can be meditated on and discussed. These 7 words/ideas will contain three main components: (1) A Key concept about God; (2) A Key Scripture to memorize; and (3) A Key application question for daily living. These three components can be discussed anytime during the day; during any mealtime, while you are driving, bedtime, etc. The goal is to have a spiritual word/concept for the day that can be developed and talked about whenever it is convenient for the family. This can be done as simply as I have laid out below, or can be done in much greater depth. As Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach them (God’s commands) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” One of the great joys and challenges for parents today is doing that very thing. I think most parents intend to talk about spiritual things with their kids, but because they do not have a simple game plan, their intentions rarely become a consistent reality. As you will see below, there are 7 key words to be focused on each week. These are 7 words and concepts I want my children growing up centering their spiritual lives on. There are obviously more spiritual terms every Christian parent will introduce their children to, but these are 7 foundational words from which others thoughts can flow. Also, even though only one word is emphasized each day, there will no doubt be some overflow of each word everyday…the goal is to simplify and focus on one concept each day as you mediate on and discuss God’s Word. Here is a simple 7 for 7 outline:
Sunday – A day of TRUTH
Key Concept: God is truth! God has revealed Himself in His Word and we must take His Word as truth!
Key Scripture: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” –John 17:17
Application question: We know God primarily through His Word (the truth), what is one thing you have learned from God’s Truth today and how will you apply it your life?
-Truth is foundational to every other concept that will be looked at…so, it is fitting that the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day, should be about truth! This is a day the family worships together and can discuss the sermon, Sunday School/Bible Study lessons, etc.
Monday – A day of GRACE
Key Concept: God is gracious! God forgives, not because we earn it or deserve it, but because He is good!
Key Scripture: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” –Ephesians 2:8-9
Application question: How has God shown you grace? How have you shown, or how can you show grace to others?
-Grace is the perfect compliment to truth…so, it is fitting for it to follow truth…and it is the perfect concept to discuss at the start of a work/school week. Grace is needed everyday, but it seems to be needed much on Mondays J
Tuesday – A Day of FAITH
Key Concept: God is trustworthy! Without faith, believing in God, it is impossible to please Him.
Key Scripture: “And without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” –Hebrews 11:6
Application question: Why is it important to trust God? How did or didn’t you trust Him today?
-Faith is essential to the Christian life. Jesus said, “How blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Faith always gets God’s attention and each day we should seek to walk by faith and not sight.
Wednesday – A Day of OBEDIENCE
Key Concept: God is worthy of our full obedience! We obey God because we love Him and desire to please Him!
Key Scripture: “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” –John 14:15
Application question: What is one way you can obey God? How have you obeyed/disobeyed Him today?
-The only real proof of our love for God is our obedience. As James says, “Faith without works is dead.” Our joyful obedience to the Lord shows our true love for Him.
Thursday – A Day of JOY
Key Concept: God is the given of true life! When we walk with God we will experience true joy and abundant life!
Key Scripture: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” –John 10:10
Application question: One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy, why is it important to show joy in the Christian life? How have or haven’t you displayed joy in your life today?
-A Christian’s life and home should be filled with joy and laughter. Joy is one of the most missing elements of many Christian’s lives and homes, and we must remember that Jesus came to give us true and abundant life.
Friday – A Day of PERSEVERANCE
Key Concept: God is never-ending! He endures forever and will finish what He starts. God’s children will persevere to the end!
Key Scriptures: “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 1:6
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” –Romans 5:3-5
Application question: Why will true Christians never quit trusting and walking with God? In what ways are you having to persevere in your Christian life?
-Perhaps one of the most distinguishing characteristics of true Christians is perseverance. God’s children will struggle, but true believers will endure to the end and will never quit trusting God. In every struggle and trial of life, we must learn to depend on the Lord and persevere.
Saturday – A Day of LOVE
Key Concept: God is love! We must remember that one of God’s chief attributes is love! We love because God first loved us!
Key Scripture: “So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13
Application question: The two greatest commandments can be summed up by saying: Love God and Love Others; why is love so important to God and how can you show God’s love on a daily basis? How did you show it today?
I would love your feedback and would appreciate any suggestions you might add to what I have presented. Again, this is just something we are trying as a family and something I hope the Lord uses greatly in our lives…as focus on: