Doing family devotions may seem a bit daunting, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. The most valuable lessons you will ever teach your children will be meeting with the family and studying together how to love God and love others well. When done in a fun and fruitful way, family devotions can and will be enjoyed by everyone. Parents are responsible for teaching and disciple their children about who God is, who they are, and what God requires of us. These are the foundations necessary for building a solid Christian worldview—what better way to do that than in family devotions.
Parents should also have a devotional routine in their own lives. When children hear parents talking about what they are learning during their own devotionals, they will be excited to have them as well. It will naturally speak volumes about the importance, the value, and the privilege of meeting with God. Choosing a time, usually early morning during the week before school as does after dinner or before bed. The key is to make devotionals a consistent event in their daily routine.
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:6–7).
When families relax and have fun learning the scriptures and how they apply to their lives, they will look forward to learning. Benefits are enormous when families study together and understand that God loves them and wants everyone to know Him personally. The overall purpose is to teach children to learn, at a young age, that God wants to help guide them through each day of their lives during the good and hard times. Children of all ages need to be encouraged to ask questions and learn how to defend their beliefs as they grow in their faith.
Here are some tips:
- Keep it fun and age-appropriate. Have something each devotion that fits the age level of those present. Tell fun stories that have happened to you so your kids will see you as human beings! Fix their favorite treats if necessary.
- Let each child be a part of each devotional. One may read, another talk about what it means and then have each comment on how they can apply to their own lives.
- Talk about people who are in the Bible who struggled and how God walked with and taught them through it. Be open about your struggles. Through these times, you will be growing disciples who will follow Jesus through the good and hard times of life.
- If the subject of study lends itself to acting it out, then do it! You may want to use clay to mold some part of the story, like a cross.
- Writing family journals is a great exercise. Writing down family prayer concerns and then how God has answered them.
- Have each family member pray for another family member. Then have each family member pray for a friend that needs to know Jesus. Pray for the country, their school, jobs, or whatever they find important…yes, including animals.
“Whoever [families included!] looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (James 1:25).
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:19-20).
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids by Phil Vischer
Josh McDowell Ministry’s devotionals are an excellent resource for thinking through difficult choices and applying biblical standards in daily decision-making.