God’s Word is where we find our spiritual ‘food’. The Bible is where we learn about God and we learn what He expects from His children. It teaches us about the world around us and explains how we are to behave in it. Most importantly, it let’s a Christ-follower know what is expected of them as a Child of God. As a child of God, daily Bible reading is necessary for your soul! It is also where we flounder the most, at least I do. I have do discipline myself to be in God’s Word daily for my soul’s health!
Daily devotions are hard enough to do as an adult, it’s impossible as a child without being taught how they are done. The realm of Daily Devotions are best taught by example: watching how the parents bring the family together for a set time every day, watching how the parents turn the family focus to God, and how to read the Bible in this context. Training Hearts, Teaching Minds does a great job at introducing the subject of family devotions and offers some pointers for kicking such a thing off!
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We used this when our son was a very active and energetic 4yr old. He was able to stay still, sitting and focused for the devotion because is was short and concise. They are 10-15 lessons with rich content based on the shorter catechism. It was sweet and wonderful to begin our daily family devotional life. Also very easy to do and stick with, if that is your fear of attempting daily devotions with young children. We have 4 active boys and getting them to actually sit still for this amount of time was monumental. Here are some of the things we did to get this family devotional rolling:
- We gathered our family together in the living room and announced we were having family devotions. This helps everyone understand what on earth is going on!
- The very first night, we explained how the devotion was going to go, in what order things would happen, and told them we were going to try to do this every night. There is nothing like the mind of a child to keep a parent on track!
- We also explained why we were doing this family devotion: we wanted our home and family life to be centered on Christ. We told our children that without being rooted in the Word of God, we had no hope of fulfilling our role as parents, raising up Godly children without opening the Word together.
- We then opened in a prayer of repentance, sang Jesus Loves Me, and read the first devotional from the book. It was short and sweet.
- We were very forgiving this first week for all the fidgeting. As the weeks went by, we stretched the expected ‘sit still’ time from the initial 5 minutes (remember, we have boys) to the full 15 minutes.
I pray your family devotional life will be sweet and encouraging. Be prepared for lots of questions and a deeper connection with your children. These devotions have grown and expanded over the years and their curiosity concerning heavenly things has grown as well. It is a rich heritage to pass along to your children!