[Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a series entitled “Coming Home”. This series focuses loosely on the home and all that goes into creating a redemptive, Christ-filled space.]
We’ve talked before about how mornings work in our family. We also do an evening benediction at bedtime, although really it’s just a part of our bedtime routine.
Every night when I do the dishes, I listen to a podcast. One night recently, that evening’s podcast was by Sally Clarkson and Kristen Kill about bedtime discipleship. Like them, I am a firm believer that we should send our children off into sleep with the peace of Christ in their hearts and minds.
“In peace I will lie down and sleep for you, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety”. -Psalm 4:8
Restful sleep is key to overall health and is so important in many aspects of our lives. But we don’t teach our kids not to be scared of monsters just so they can sleep. I want my kids to dwell in the peace of Christ because He is the Prince of Peace.
Bedtime is not only a moment to go over the events of the day but a chance to delve deeper into their hearts other than the standard “did you have a good day?” This allows for the parent to pray over any anxieties, answer questions of faith and doubt, and for both parties to ask for forgiveness over any hurtful actions or words that happened that day.
Part of our evening benediction is bedtime stories followed by a prayer and a hymn. My husband does this with our oldest while I do it with our youngest. Our boys share a room so before I leave, I always make sure to tuck in the oldest, too. This is my favorite part of our evening benediction: after our kiss and a hug, I tell him “You are a mighty boy with a great destiny because Jesus is mighty in you”. I got this idea from Kristen Kill in the podcast I mentioned above.
Sidenote- It is so, so important for our boys to grow up with the idea of honor, something that can be found in many of the stories of the Bible. Honor is key to respect for women, families, age and gender/sexual and ethnic differences. It’s about treating every single person with respect because they were created by the hand of God, just like we were.
So, part of our evening benediction is to send our kids off to bed with thoughts of bravery, honor, love, grace, mercy and justice. Their hearts are made mighty because the Creator of the universe is mighty inside them.