When it comes to Bible time in our family devotions, there area great many tools available that will help you. First and foremost is using the Bible itself. We have done a Proverb a Day for a month. We have done a Psalm a day. We have used our church Bible reading schedule and taken a chapter a day out of that. Typically, We have gone around the family with each one reading a verse, a sentence, or letting one read a whole chapter. I would typically limit the Bible reading to one chapter.
In addition to using the Bible, we have found many other great resources. We have used a book called Boys and Girls who Became Great Missionaries. We have also used, The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, especially the older version, Our Family Time with God, andBeginning with Godby Clarence Sexton.
Some other books that have been well received were Pilgrims Progress, Hinds Feet on High Places, and My Utmost for His Highest.
Some important things to remember are:
Keep all the family involved. That means you may have different age levels and work at keeping them all a part of the story.
Don’t make it too long. Leave them wanting more.
Remember that the story is just a part of the Family Time.
Ask your children to keep their eyes open for potential books to use.
What about you? Are there books you have used that have been well received in your home? Don’t keep it a secret, share your story!
The next part of having effective family devotions is to make sure there is a time of prayer together. In our home, this consisted of going around the room and asking for prayer requests. If your children are young, you may get some off-the-wall requests, but this is a teaching time as much as anything so we just help them work through that.
I would encourage you to keep a prayer notebook for this time. In it put the request and date, but also leave a spot for answered prayer. It will strengthen your children’s faith to see that, not only do we pray to God, but God is a prayer answering God.
After all the requests have been taken, pick one family member to pray. In Luke 11, the disciples came to Christ and asked him to teach them to pray. That is a part of the responsibilities of being a parent. So be patient with your children.
We teach our children hygiene. We teach them to brush their teeth. We teach them to eat their vegetables, but for some reason we are not committed to teaching them spiritual disciplines.
Let’s do our part in helping our children develop strong Christian habits.
In Deuteronomy 6, the Lord laid out the responsibility the home has in influencing the family in Biblical matters. What an opportunity family devotions plays in this! In this post, I would like to present some of the specific things we have done in our home that I believe were beneficial.
Singing – We always started off with some type of singing. Scripture songs; choruses; one time we sang through the church hymnbook. That took us over a year. You don’t have to sing like Mac Lynch or Andrea Bocelli. You just need to sing. And by the way, the more you sing, the easier it becomes. Use some CD’s to back you up. If you are looking for direction on this, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can give you some recommendations.
Bible Story – This is such a major part of it I will cover it in a separate post.
Scripture Memory – We usually focused on one verse a week, typically as part of an overall theme. Sometimes we would focus on passages like Genesis 1 or Psalm 1 or Exodus 20 or Phil 2:5-8 or 1 Corinthians 13 or the Romans Road or something like that. Other times we would highlight different themes like forgiveness or love or Jesus Christ. Nave’s Topical Bible is an example of a resource you can use to help you find topics.
We will cover more next time. Just remember that you don’t need to do a perfect job or have all the answers. You do, however, need to do it.
Two of my grandsons spent the night the other night. We always enjoy them, and one of the things we do with them is have family devotions in the morning. We started this habit decades ago when our children were little and it has always been one of the highlights of our memories.
It is my strong belief that one of the greatest things a family can do in their home is to have a faithful time of family devotions. There are so many things that you gain by being successful here.
You help your children understand the priority God has in the home.
You take a few minutes to make sure your family is on the same page spiritually.
You take steps to help your family achieve what George Mueller defines as “getting your soul happy in the Lord.”
You are fulfilling your Biblical responsibility of being the spiritual leader in your home.
You establish a pattern for your children at an early age to spend time with their Creator.
You don’t have to solve all the world’s problems. You don’t have to have all the answers. Sometimes, the most enjoyable thing you can do is acknowledge that you don’t know the answer to a question and make it a family project to find out the answer to whatever Biblical question was asked. You don’t have to give a doctoral dissertation on issues like supralapsarianism and the impact it has on the Calvinist and Armenian perspectives (?!). Your children need to see first hand that you live what you believe and family devotions are a great help in that. Join me for the next couple of days as we talk about how to have effective family devotions in your home.