As Christian parents we desire nothing more than to raise children who will seek after righteousness and follow the truths of God. Whether a child is homeschooled, public schooled, or private schooled; it is still a parents job to train them in the way they should go. There are strategic steps we as parents can take to insure the spiritual well-being of our children. Yes, taking our children to church and living out the teachings of Christ is important; but a crucial aspect of raising up a godly generation (which is often missed) is teaching the scriptures from home, through family devotions.
As first generation Christians, my husband and I have had quite the learning curve in training children to follow after the Lord. We knew early on in our child rearing days, that we wanted to incorporate daily family devotions to help instill the word of God into our children’s hearts. With many young children we have run the gauntlet of the ‘how-to’s’ for incorporating family devotions into our crazy life. After much trial and error we have come up with a simple system that works for us.
Simple Daily Family Devotion Plan
- Sing a hymn or praise and worship song either along with a cd, acappella, or with an instrument. You can sing as many songs as you’d like, just remember that the little ones attention spans are limited.
- Read a couple verses of the Bible or read along with a family devotional book. We have read through many. I typically purchase a yearly one and we go through it a couple times before we get a new one. Make sure to take the time to discuss the scriptures and/or the daily lesson and prompt the children to add their thoughts or questions.
- Close with prayer. During this time you can ask the children if they have any prayer needs and discuss in detail any prayer concerns you plan to pray about.
This is just a simple plan which we have used over the years. We have found keeping it short and simple is best, especially with so many little kids. Our family devotions typically average 15 minutes. We’ve found this to be a good time frame in keeping with the younger children’s limited attention span. Consistency with daily family devotions helps the children learn what is expected of them during this time. And, it is also good practice for church.
Now that we have a simple plan established, it’s on to the implementation of daily family worship. I know that many of you have full evenings with extra-curruclars, homework, and chores; but I assure you a quick family devotion can be done with minimal stress. The Lord knows our hearts and will honor our efforts no matter how chaotic our lives may get. But I have a few tried and true suggestions that will hopefully make the daily commitment for family devotions just a tad bit easier.
Stress Free Daily Devotions
- We have found the best way to do daily family devotions is immediately after dinner, before kitchen clean-up, at the kitchen table. We simply clear off the table and go straight to our family worship time. The children typically have full bellies and are content. Leave the little bitty ones in their high chairs or booster seats. Make sure they are comfortable and give them their ‘Lovies’ if they have one.
- Make sure everyone has their bibles, song books, as well as notebooks and pencils. We have found even the younger ones enjoy having their own bible books to look at during our worship time.
- Expect interruptions, distractions, and child training opportunities. God does not expect perfection, He will handle the follow through. It is simply a parents job to do the teaching.
- Don’t teach over their heads. Keep it all age appropriate. This is why we like yearly family devotional books. They help teach the scriptures on a child’s level.
- Involve the children in the lessons. Ask questions and allow for their input. Don’t be afraid to veer off topic so long as it is still within the context of family worship. Some of our best family conversations have begun through our family devotions.
Daily family devotions is a special gift from the Lord. All we have to do is make it happen and God will bless our efforts. Don’t get discouraged if your daily devotions seem like only an opportunity for discipline. Make a point to pray for your daily family worship time during YOUR quiet time, trust that God will honor your diligence, and remember your children are still in the training process. Establishing a solid foundation of faith in the hearts of your children amidst the chaos of life IS possible; it just takes a simple plan, perseverance, and commitment.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)