And this was really shown to me a few nights ago.
If I can be honest, I’m not a perfect parent or even pastor. And this story will show that.
We came home late from something, I was tired and trying to get the boys to bed. This just seemed like a hassle, and I just wanted to zone out with Netflix for an hour before we went to bed. But the boys were busy and running, and finally it seemed like we were ready for bed, and I put them in bed.
And that’s why Asher (my 2 year old), started yelling “Bible…Bible…Bible”
Each night we read the Bible together, and we’ve got this good one with kids stories and it’s really good. But on this night I did not want to read the Bible (I know a bad thing for a pastor to say), I wanted to watch Netflix, and I wanted to rest.
So I said, “Not tonight Asher…tomorrow”. At which point both boys started loudly protesting (read – yelling) saying, “But we always read the Bible, no dad we need to read it, Dad just one story”
Do you see the power of habit?
Habits are things that you’ve invested in over time, so that when you don’t want to do the healthy and good thing (reading the Bible) that it feels weird when you don’t do them. That you notice and feel it when you skip a rhythm.
Because we’ve read the Bible so often (on nights when I’m not burnt out), when I didn’t want to do the right action (sit and read and talk with my boys), the habit forced me into the right decision.
This is why habits matter – they force us to make the right decision even when we don’t want to.
So here is my question: what good habits do you have? What unhealthy ones do you have? What good habits should you be starting? Because we all have them, good or bad. I think the challenge is for us to start simple but good habits that make a difference long-term. Some of the ones I think of are eating together, are praying together, reading together, or whatever. The point is that we all have rhythms that our lives play out too. I just think it’s worth to every now and then examine those rhythms and make sure they are the rhythms we want to learn.
And habits work best when they involve others, even little kids with words that remind you to make the best decisions, even when you’re tired.