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Family: Prioritizing Those Closest to You

by Joel Comiskey

Spring 2012

Healthy cells come from healthy families and in fact, the inner cell is the family. Even though I've dedicated the last 21 years to cell ministry, a more important priority is my own family. They are not only part of my ministry; they are my first and most important ministry. I'm in deep need of God's grace because I'm a sinful human being with many flaws, but I do try to improve daily in the family arena. Here are some important principles that I'm working on:

Husband and wife date times: Celyce and I set aside budget money each month to go out on "romantic times" (dinner, etc.). We also plow through Christian books on marriage and spend regular prayer times together. The bottom line, we are continually trying to improve our marriage.

Day off together: I believe a twenty-four hour day off is essential and it gives the family a chance to have fun, gather strength, and face the week with new vigor. It helps the family build and maintain strong relationships. Healthy families are about friendship, fun, spontaneous activity. Plato once wrote, "You can learn more about a man in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

Devotional times. I believe the highest goal for our children is that they would love the Lord God with all of their heart, soul, and strength. I'm convinced that the family quiet time is the best time for parents to nurture children in the ways of God and really prepare them for life with Christ.

My own devotional time with my kids included taking time to worship, pray, and wait in silence for Jesus to speak to us. Afterwards, I would ask each of them to share what God showed them. I then shared what God has shown me from the Word, trying to speak on their level. I'm so grateful that my kids have a growing relationship with Jesus. I've led devotions with my kids most days of the week since my oldest was three years old, but about two years ago my kids reached the age where they began to primarily have devotions on their own.