Having family devotions is not always as easy as it would seem.
Before I had kids, and even when my kids were babies, I envisioned amazing family devotion times where my kids were fully engaged and excited about spending time with Jesus as a family.
What is reality is that having regular family devotions have been one of our biggest struggles.
My husband’s work schedule doesn’t allow him to participate with us very often, so leading family devotions falls to me. And I’ll admit, I’ve not always been very consistent with it.
It’s kind of hard to admit that, because it is one area where I feel like I’ve failed at miserably, and in the interest of full disclosure, it’s also an area where I’ve felt all-thumbs, two-left-feet….clumsy.
So, when so many moms asked me to help provide them tips and resources for their kids and family devotions, I wanted to panic!
This was one of my weakest areas as a mom…but it is an area where I am becoming stronger, and with God’s help I will continue to help my children grow in their relationship with Christ to become mighty men of God in their generation.
As I have grown more consistent in leading my children in family devotions, I have discovered that there are five essential things that should take place for them to effective. Plus they’ve helped me stay consistent, helped my children stay engaged, and overall family devotions are now one of our favorite times of the day.
5 Steps to Successful Family Devotions
1. Choose a time. This was actually the hardest for me! My natural response is to have family devotions in the morning, because that is when I have my own devotions. However, I found morning devotions for us simply didn’t work. At all. I wake up long before the rest of the family, and by the time they are all out of bed, I’ve begun my work day. More often than not, something would happen in the morning to completely derail our family devotion time so that it was never consistent.
We’ve now moved family devotion time to just before bedtime. It works for us, plus the children go to bed with Jesus’ words fresh on their hearts. I kind of like that!
Truly, the time of day is not as important as consistency. Choose a time that best works for your family and stick with it.
2. Choose a place. I don’t know about you, but my children thrive on the same things happening at the same time and in the same place. My oldest particularly. For him, everything has it’s time and place and heaven help the soul who attempts to mess that up!
But I think there is something to routine. Choosing a time a place are essential to making family devotions a habit in the home. Our place in the kitchen table, since we usually have a bedtime snack just before we sit to read the Bible together.
3. Come prepared. Honestly, this is probably most essential. Your children will only take family devotions as seriously as you do. If you just sit down and thumb through the Bible to find a passage that stands out to you, it speaks to your children that this is not very important to you.
If family devotions are unimportant to you, they will be even less important to them. In fact, if you force them to participate in something that is truly not very important to you simply because you feel it is your religious duty, it will cause seeds of resentment and spiritual apathy to grow in their hearts.
Prepare yourself by first spending time in prayer. Ask the Lord to show you what your family needs and to point you to portions of the Word that will help you feed them spiritually. Then, ask Him to speak to your heart words to make each passage applicable for them.
You are their pastor. Lead your sheep. Feed your sheep!
Here is a great resource to help you start building your family devotions!
4. Involve your kids. One of the best ways to make family devotions fun is to involve your kids in the process! They shouldn’t be spectators. They should be participants.
If you have older kids, give them a topic and ask them to prepare a devotional one time a week. If one of your children plays an instrument, ask them to lead family worship.
If your children are smaller, act out Bible stories, create hand motions to the songs, and show them how to raise their hands to worship Jesus.
Getting them involved helps to make them feel that this is a family affair!
5. Call them to action. How successful would we be at winning souls if all we did was tell people about Jesus, but never invited them to actually receive Him as their Savior?
Not very successful.
There would be millions of people walking around informed about Jesus, but void of any relationship with Him.
Don’t just tell your kids about Jesus. They may or may not come to the point on their own where they accept Him as their Savior, but don’t take the chance that it may not happen.
Invite them to receive Jesus as their Savior.
Perhaps you feel that they are too young to understand what they are doing. My almost-5-year-old invited Jesus in his heart not too long ago. I can assure you that he has very little understanding of what that means, but it is a milestone. Milestones lead to a destination. Children and teenagers need these milestones.
As a child, I accepted Christ as my Savior multiple times. Every Sunday in Sunday School. But each time I did, it just made my faith that much stronger so that as a teenager I was not inclined to follow my peers. I was resolute in doing what I knew was right despite what everyone was doing.
Calling your children to action is so important. Do it often, especially when they are young.
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll look at resources you can use with your kids and teens to help them develop a love for Jesus.
If you have a favorite resource, comment below and let us know. Maybe the resource you mention will be featured in the resources I share!
- Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.