What is it?
This book is about developing and incorporating gospel rhythms into your daily life as a parent in the things you are already doing. Justin focuses on ten daily habits that every family already does and identifies how to alter them into habits that promote the gospel in your home and life. At the end of each chapter, he includes charts that review the main points and ideas. He lists the ten habits of the household as:
- Family Devotions
Who’s it for?
This book is for parents with kids of any age. The author had younger kids when he wrote it, so most of his examples are geared toward kids ten and under, but he also includes ideas for older kids and stresses that as kids get older, the rhythms you use will change and grow with them.
How’d it go?
“This book was so great because it is immediately applicable and relevant to living out the gospel in our daily lives and incorporating it intentionally into our parenting. Unlike other books, I didn’t feel as if I needed more time that I didn’t have. The habits were intentionally designed to fit into our current lives. The author gives many examples of what they have used in their parenting journey, giving you a solid base of where you can start. The categories that I took the most from were conversation and bedtime.
You can get to know your kids better and develop and grow your relationship with them by conversing with them. Which, duh, of course. But I often just want to have some alone time where it’s quiet instead of engaging in a conversation. To make it a regular thing, we’ve decided to intentionally use the time we drive them to school to ask them questions. I made up a list of 20-ish questions, wrote each on a notecard, and put them on a key ring. Every day on the drive to school, a kid gets to pick one of the questions they want to answer. They’re not yes/no questions, so they have to give a longer answer, but they’re also not very serious questions, so it’s something they’ll enjoy and readily participate in every day.
At the end of the day, I’m tired and worn out and probably a little cranky and rushing through bedtime so I can just have a break for a little bit. This book challenged me to slow bedtime and engage with the kids. It happens every night, so it’s easy to see how it can be a habit you can change for the better. We let each kid talk about their day at bedtime for a set time limit. They get to say whatever they want: what they liked, didn’t like, a funny story, who they got along with, etc. This routine was the only one I did every night, and then they’d head to their bed, get a hug and kiss and go to bed. Now I’m having them recap their day and each head to their bed, and then I take time with each kid individually and say a prayer specific to them. The author gives examples of prayers he uses that are helpful. They’re often short and to the point, which is especially great at bedtime, but when kids hear them night after night, it helps sink in over time.” – Jamie Nanda