hopelessly devoted?

It’s our dinnertime dilemma.

How do we manage to get through a meaningful family devotion time without bloodshed?

It wasn’t always this difficult. When the kids were younger, they both loved reading “stories” and answering questions about God’s Word.

However, the sibling rivalry, age and gender differences have increasingly become glaringly and frustratingly apparent. And so have their needs and maturity levels.

It’s normal to some degree – to be expectedBut it often makes dinner and devotions, our family ritual for years, feel like an exercise in futility.

Here’s a peek into our family dinnertime:

Micah: I’m done with my dinner! Can I read the devotions?

Molly: Oh, brother, why does he always have to read the devotions?

Micah: Let’s read two. I’ll read the first one and you can read the second one, Mom, okay?

Molly: Which book are you going to read from – the “baby” book? I don’t want to hear a story written for a two-year-old.

Micah: Stop it, Molly! Be quiet!

Micah begins reading then stops.

Micah: She’s looking at me!

Mom or Dad: Just keep reading.

Micah: She’s smiling at me! Tell her to quit smiling at me.

Molly: I’m not doing anything!

Dad: Micah, quit whining and just read. Molly, knock it off. I. mean. it.

Eventually, the devotion and Scripture is read. And an amazing thing happens. A discussion begins to take place that does not end in sibling assault. They start asking insightful and challenging questions. Don’t get me wrong. This does not happen every time. (If only!) Sometimes, the victory is just getting through it.

But more often than their dad and I would predict, all the pre-devotion wrangling ends with something like this:

Molly: That was actually pretty good.

Micah: Yea, I liked that one. We just learned about that in church

And despite the resistance, we’re actually glad we persevered.

My kids are beginning to question more and try to figure out what they believe. To push against some of our instruction – in this and other areas, as well.

It’s normal. And good. It’s how they’ll eventually — with God’s help — make their faith their own.

That doesn’t mean it’s not scary for parents. And discouraging at times. You don’t know how many times we’ve wanted to say, “Forget it! This is too much of a hassle! Go to bed!” (Okay, we’ve said that a few times.)

But I’ve learned we have to continue to persevere. To not give in to the resistance. To continue to pour God’s Word and guidance into their lives.

There are no guarantees. But if we allow them the freedom to question and grapple with their faith, while consistently guiding and instructing them in what we know to be true, they are more likely to one day enthusiastically embrace their faith again.

In the meantime, I’m making extra dinner portions. We all need our strength.

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. Isaiah 55:10-11

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    • {Melinda} You are welcome, Laura. You inspire and encourage us, too. It definitely goes both ways. 🙂

  • Yep, this was timely for me, too. Battling through sometimes feels hopeless but in the end, when they come to me with something they want to add or ask, I know it is worth it. You guys are such an inspiration…a blessing that I found you. Thank you!

    • {Melinda} I really think that is the biggest weapon the enemy uses against me — discouragement. But when I keep going, I see how God blesses even my feeble efforts. So glad we connected, too, AnnMarie!

  • {Melinda}Yes, Laurie! His Word never comes back void. We have to just keep sharing it and letting the Holy Spirit do the work! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this on your page. You are always an encouragement to me.

    • {Melinda} Oh, thank you, Paloma! I’m so glad it encouraged you! 🙂

    • {Melinda} Yes, I ask God often to help me fight the weariness and discouragement that can sometimes come in parenting. Sticking with it takes work and lots of prayer. Thanks so much for stopping by, Michelle!

  • This COULD NOT have been more timely, ladies! My husband and I were JUST looking across the battlefield – I mean kitchen table – last night, wondering if we’d ever be able to get the kids to LIKE devos! And the best part? This little neighbor kid who practically lives with us actually decided to stay for devo this week and it was one of those “she’s looking at me!” kind of moments. But we did eventually get to the story, and get the discussion – a pretty good one, surprisingly – going. Just resting in the fact that His word never returns void, even if we do our worst. 🙂

  • Oh do I get that!!! It’s sooo hard sometimes to reign them in, but in the end it ALWAYS pays off!! I was driving my kids to school today and praying in the car (as we do every day) and my daughter interrupted me with some question… I snapped at her and went back to praying- thinking to myself “really? Did you just do that?” I stopped and asked her again what she said, and it was an important question related to what I was praying about! Oh, we must listen to our children! They are filled with wonder and want to learn about God and His mighty love and power! It was a good lesson for me…again. (and again and again…!)

    • {Melinda} Oh, Chris! I have SO done that! I’m better than I used to be. 🙂 I’m convinced that just LISTENING is one of the biggest gifts we can give to our children!


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i’m melinda


I’m a woman who was radically changed when the God I thought I knew since childhood opened my eyes to the overwhelming depth of His love for me. I love speaking, writing, and pointing women to the Father so they can experience for themselves the healing power of His incredible, captivating love.

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