Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Best Bedtime...Everytime

The Best Bedtime...Everytime

How many times do we ask questions on an innumerable list of topics while never considering whether God has input or an answer for our question? Sometimes, we remove God from the everyday matters of life thinking either He is too busy or that the small mundane things don’t really matter to Him. 

So how does God fit into the small mundane aspects of life? Does the Bible reveal God’s perspective on the seemingly insignificant daily deeds? 

It is Super Safe at our house at night!
Have you ever thought, “Does God have a certain idea about what He would like to see happen at bedtime?” And if the answer is “yes,” what would He like to see happen as the day closes? 

What if we discovered that God had a plan for us as each evening winds down? 

Most people who have been around church for any time have heard the emphasis of having devotional times or “quiet times” at the beginning of the day. But how many of us have considered taking time at the end of the day to pause and think through what God has done with us in His grace during that day? And most of us, though we’ve read over it many times, have not considered what it looks like, on a practical level, to follow the Biblical instruction for ending the day. 

Deuteronomy 6:1-7  (NLT)
“Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
“Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 
And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.
Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
The LORD your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build.”

I don’t use the NLT very often, but here it seems fitting because we’re looking at what it would look like, at a very practical level, to “Repeat them again and again...and talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up,” (v.7). Nothing more repetitive than “every night.” Can you imagine the thoughts children may lie there thinking about the last few minutes of each night if we were to do this? 

Check out another section to consider:  (Ps. 78:2-7)
“I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;”

One of the greatest ways to lead our families spiritually and to point our wives and children to the supremacy of Jesus Christ is to give Him prominent, unparalleled, position as the most amazing and worthy Person we could live for. A very easy and practical way to do that (which takes no prep time, no crafts, no games, no materials, no study) is to pause and review the day that God has given to you and each person in your family. Simply pausing to think through the events and relationships throughout the day and to assign glory to God for the grace we have experienced that day.

Again, no study, no prep, no materials, no crafts--just one question for each child and see where it takes you. At our house, this turns into some of the best discussions. You can simply say, “As we get ready for bed, let’s look back through our day--what are a couple of things you (each person) would like to thank God for today?" In a very repetitive, simple, practical way, you’re teaching them to pause and glorify God and recognize Him as all-powerful God at the close of each day. They may grow up thinking that every family ends the day that way. Wouldn’t it be great if they start their own family one day repeating what you taught them to do? 
Bedroom Camp Gone Wrong

CJ Mahaney, in his book Humility, has some great wisdom on why we should take this time at the end of the day to “ascribe glory to God.”

  1. We experience saving grace, sanctifying grace, sustaining grace--all kinds of grace all day long--but what does it reveal about our hearts if we are failing to express gratefulness and appreciation for ALL that grace? 
  2. We can “Avoid Cosmic Plagiarism”: We very easily get caught up in our own self-sufficiency and self-determined successes. We forget, very easily, that all we are able to accomplish and perform flow from abilities given to us by our Creator and Savior. We must practice, daily, ascribing glory to the One who is truly worthy of all praise. Don't rob God of His glory. 
  3. We can “Accept the Gift of Sleep”: The cessation of work each day was part of God’s blessing and design in our twenty-four hour day. God’s purposes before and after the fall included work and rest. How many of us fall asleep each night never considering to thank God for our rest/sleep anymore than non-Christians? 
  4. Final thought each night...Thank God for the Gospel: If nothing has gone well. If it’s a diagnosis of cancer or an extremely sick child. If it’s dreaded news of job loss. If it’s a day full of painful relationship tension. We can still pause our weary thoughts the last moments before sleep to thank our Father for His Son and the Cross. We can praise the Son for His life and death and resurrection. We can praise the Spirit for bringing us new life. We can thank God for the great news of Jesus Christ!
This Jesus Changes Everything!
Sankie Price Lynch

1 CJ Mahaney, Humility  (Multnomah, Sisters, OR  2005) 79-80. 

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