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With busy families, it can be difficult to make family devotions a priority. But it’s worth it. Research shows that families who engage in regular devotional time have a stronger connection with one another and a greater understanding of the Christian faith. If you’re looking to make your family closer and inspire faith in your kids, this article will outline the many benefits of family devotions and why they should be a regular part of your family’s life. We’ll also provide examples of different ways you can engage in devotions as a family, even with older kids so you can find the approach that works best for you. Even younger children can benefit from family devotions. So, if you’re ready to build a stronger, more connected family, read on to discover the power of family devotions. It’s a great way to establish a family habit that will make your family stronger.
Establishing a habit of family devotions can be tough. With school, work, activities, and appointments, but, with some creative planning, it is a worthwhile investment into your family’s walk with God.
Teaching your kids about Jesus is one of our greatest responsibilities as parents.
God instructed the Israelites:
God has made it clear in this verse (and others) that we are to teach our children God’s Word.
Here are three benefits of family devotions that, I hope, will encourage you to begin family devotions or to continue this family practice.
Five Benefits of Family Devotions
I’ve listed below just five benefits of family devotions, but I’m pretty sure you could think of even more. The most important thing is that we are following God’s command to:
1. Family devotions open the door for meaningful discussion with your children.
You are able to take scripture and help your children connect it to their lives or what they are learning in school.
For example, Louis Giglio’s How Great is Our God, is a terrific children’s devotional connecting science to God’s greatness and majesty.
Conversations around behavior, loving others, and science are natural to occur when discussing God’s Word.
2. Family devotions are an investment in your children’s spiritual growth.
By practicing and modeling reading the Bible and praying, you are setting a firm foundation in your child’s spiritual life.
By teaching them that the Bible is a handbook for life, you are helping them uncover God’s truth and how to put it into practice in their everyday lives.
His Word shows us just how very much He loves each of us and teaching them how to pray demonstrates that we can go to Our Father for anything at all, no matter how big or small.
3. Family devotions promote connection and unity in families.
Setting aside time and the distractions of this world to focus on God helps families to strengthen connections. This time can also help promote conversation and help us to relate to each other more.
Sharing our hearts, fears, hopes, and prayer requests and helping our children to understand how God loves them and is in control, as well as how His Word applies to their lives, opens up doors to meaningful conversation.
4. Improved Communication Skills
In addition to strengthening family bonds and fostering a sense of belonging, daily family devotions can greatly improve communication skills for all family members. During these dedicated moments, family members have the opportunity to engage in intentional conversations and express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns in a safe and supportive environment.
Family devotions provide a structured space where each person can actively listen and effectively communicate with one another. Through the act of discussing readings, sharing personal reflections, and participating in group activities, individuals learn the art of respectful dialogue, empathetic listening, and effective expression. These skills are not only essential within the family unit but also transferable to other aspects of life, such as school, work, and personal relationships.
By engaging in meaningful conversations during family devotions, children and adults alike develop their abilities to articulate their thoughts and emotions more coherently. They learn how to express themselves clearly, ask thoughtful questions, and actively contribute to discussions. These skills are invaluable in nurturing strong interpersonal relationships and building connections beyond the confines of the family.
Moreover, family devotions create a space where individuals feel comfortable sharing their joys, struggles, and aspirations. This open expression of thoughts and emotions fosters trust and authenticity within the family, encouraging everyone to be vulnerable and supportive of one another. As each family member learns to effectively communicate and truly listen, misunderstandings are reduced, conflicts are resolved more peacefully, and bonds are strengthened.
Ultimately, the improved communication skills gained through regular family devotions create a foundation for healthy relationships built on trust, understanding, and empathy. These skills not only enhance family dynamics but also extend into other areas of life, enabling individuals to better navigate the complexities of the world and establish meaningful connections with others.
By improving communication skills, family devotions lay the groundwork for the next section on “Cultivating a Sense of Gratitude,” where the benefits of these open and honest conversations lead to a deeper appreciation for one another and the world around them.
Encourage your children to make prayer lists of those they would like to pray for and allow them to lead a portion of family prayer time.
5. Cultivating a Sense of Gratitude
By fostering open and honest conversations, family devotions not only improve communication skills but also cultivate a sense of gratitude within family members. As family members engage in discussions about faith, values, and individual experiences, they build a deeper understanding of one another’s perspectives and develop a genuine appreciation for the unique contributions each person brings to the table. This heightened sense of gratitude extends beyond the immediate family unit and spills over into other aspects of life, allowing individuals to recognize and value the goodness in the world around them.
Through regular family devotions, family members have the opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a safe and supportive space. As they listen attentively to one another, they learn to appreciate the different ways in which their family members contribute to their lives. This practice of active listening and genuine acknowledgment fosters a spirit of gratitude, as family members not only understand the challenges and triumphs experienced by their loved ones but also recognize the efforts and sacrifices made for the collective well-being of the family.
In addition to appreciating the unique qualities of family members, family devotions also encourage gratitude for the blessings and opportunities present in their lives. As they reflect on their faith, family members may express gratitude for the love, guidance, and protection they receive from a higher power. They may also find themselves appreciating the simple joys and everyday miracles that often go unnoticed in the busyness of life. This shift in perspective towards gratitude enhances family dynamics and strengthens the bonds between family members, creating a harmonious and supportive environment for personal growth and development.
11 Tips For Family Devotion Time
- Read around the table.
Kids are more likely to pay attention without the distractions of a comfy couch or television in sight.
2. Choose the right time.
Consider doing devotions at breakfast or dinnertime when the family is already gathered. It is great for quality family time.
3. Keep it simple.
Focus on just three things: reading, teaching/talking, and praying.
4. Engagement, not entertainment.
While crafts and games are fun, keep it simple (and save yourself the stress of preparation) by encouraging conversation over fun. Having discussion points in your family devotions will help with this.
5. Don’t get discouraged.
Kids wiggle and rarely like to sit still – even teenagers. Don’t be discouraged if your kids don’t sit still, look bored or even act up during devotions. You are establishing long-term habits and an investment in their futures. More will “sink in” than you might expect. Find devotional books that will work for multiple ages, if necessary.
You don’t need to invest in a family devotions book unless you really want to. Simply read from the Bible (Proverbs is a great place to start). You might also choose to use one of the many Bible studies available for families. No matter what you choose, the focus should be on the Word of God. It is encouraged for your children to see you doing your own daily Bible reading, as well.
7. Keep it short.
Shoot for 5-10 minutes with great conversation over thirty minutes of frustration. Short devotions will keep your wigglers still over long and complicated ones.
8. God is in control
He will bless your family for your obedience to Him but don’t expect the blessing to come in a certain form. For example, your kids will not start to behave overnight just because you have started family devotions. God’s plan is not always ours.
9. Let Dad take the lead
As spiritual head of household, let Dad lead this time for your family, including any prayer. Of course, there will be times that this isn’t possible (Dad isn’t home or ill or not present), but, whenever possible, let Dad take his role of spiritual family leader. Biblically, the father is the head of the household for the whole family.
10. Borrow a book
If you want to try a family devotions book without the extra cost, try checking one out at the library or see if your church has one to lend. It’s a great option for saving money, as well.
11. Incorporate Music.
Consider beginning or ending your family devotion time with worship music for a bit of family fun and meaning.
The Best Family Devotions Books
The main goal is quality time with your own family while focusing on Jesus and having meaningful time together.
Family devotions are an invaluable exercise in faith building and community building. They can bring families together, encouraging respect, cooperation, communication, and trust. By taking a few minutes each day to read scripture, take part in shared prayer, and discuss topics that are relevant to the family, parents can invest in their children’s spiritual development and ensure that their families remain rooted in faith. In short, family devotions are a fundamental tool for the growth and perpetuation of a strong Christian household.
So if you’re looking for a way to build an unbreakable bond and strengthen your family’s faith—family devotions are the answer. Take a few moments each day to thank God for the blessings in your life and your family’s lives and you’ll soon see just how rewarding and transformative this practice can be.
You may enjoy this video on family devotions by Focus on the Family: Growing Closer Through Family Devotions
Do you enjoy family devotions with your family? How do you carve out the time with busy schedules? What are your best tips? Do you have a recommendation for a family devotion book that I may have missed? Share in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!
Because of Him,
ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”