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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:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:6–9
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.
Three Benefits of Family Devotions
I’ve listed below just three 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:
“Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
6. Read the Bible
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).
7. Keep it short.
Shoot for 5-10 minutes with great conversation over thirty minutes of frustration.
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.
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.
10. Borrow a book
If you want to try a family devotions book, try checking one out at the library or see if your church has one to lend.
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
Or, you may wish to try a short video devotion, such as this one by 5 Minute Family Devotional.
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,