I have heard some parents state that they feel family devotions are like brain-washing their child, and that they want to allow their children to make their own decision for faith as they get older and are more well-informed about their decision.
When I hear this, I bristle.
The fact is that if you don’t raise your children to seek God’s face, the world around them teach them to seek everything else but God.
Between Hollywood, the media, the public school system, and their friends from unsaved homes, the likelihood they will grow up to despise God is far more likely than them sort of coming to the conclusion all on their own that they need to serve Jesus.
When God gave us children, He didn’t just entrust them to us to care for their physical and emotional needs, but also their spiritual needs.
We are here on earth with a mission: to take as many souls with us to heaven as we can.
If as Christian parents we believe in evangelism and sharing the gospel, shouldn’t we first start under our own roof before we begin evangelizing outside our front door?
Why would we tell our unsaved coworkers and neighbors about Christ, but leave our own children to find Him all on their own?
My mom is visiting us today to share about why family devotions are so important. If there is anyone qualified to speak on this subject, it is she. My parents successfully raised 3 kids in the ministry who have gone on, themselves, to full-time ministry. They did the work of family evangelism with grace and determination.
And the Lord has rewarded their diligence!
And now I give you my mom!
Why Family Devotions Are Important
The spiritual development of an individual affects every other part of life.
When a person is deeply devoted to God and His ways, the blessing that comes overflows to touch every relationship, our work performance and personal satisfaction with life.
Visualize a cart wheel where the hub is the spirit. Each rung coming from the hub connects the spirit with what touches earth.
These rungs are that which flows out of our spirit and are reflections of God himself to the world.
Some of these rungs might be
When the rungs are weak or missing our wheel has is seriously weakened.
The Scripture encourages us as parents to train our children in the way he should go. Too often we approach parenting from the mistaken viewpoint of wanting to give to our children all the things we did not have growing up along with all the things we enjoyed growing up failing to recognize that it is not the “things” that gives our children the ability to have joy and success in life.
Joy and success flow not from experiences but from a strong and well developed spirit.
It is never too early to begin developing a love for God and a desire for complete obedience to His word and His ways.
Reading scripture to the unborn in the womb is one way to begin connecting with your child on a spiritual level.
As the child grows he must come to understand that their spiritual development is a natural everyday part of their growing up.
Learning who God is and understanding that He has a definite standard of conduct that He requires from those who call themselves His children is absolutely essential. When we are obedient to the commands and ways of God we will prosper in every way.
Proverbs 10: 28 – 29 tells us that the prospects, or future outlook, for the righteous (those who live right) is joy but the hopes of the wicked will come to nothing. The ways of the Lord is a refuge (place of safety) for the righteous but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
Living this philosophy out on a daily basis would look something like this: the morning begins with the family gathering at some place and time to pray together and read a scripture which they are encouraged to take with them throughout the day.
Daily decisions are met with the question: How does integrity, loyalty, faithfulness, dependability, determination, courage, etc relate to this decision I need to make?
When we are making the decisions regarding activities in which our children will be involved our criteria should not be made based on childhood memories or even desires of our children.
Wanda Hackett has been leading children’s ministries for over 40 years in churches throughout the States and Canada. She has a strong passion to see children experience Jesus Christ on their level – in a very living and relevant way. She has written numerous Children’s church curricula, some of which has been translated into Croatian! She has 3 children – who are all in full-time ministry – and 9 grandchildren.
Here is a great resource to help you start building your family devotions!