Many parents struggle with how to start daily devotions with their family. Thankfully, this habitual practice with your children doesn’t need to be challenging. It can be as simple as reading from a children’s Bible or opening Scripture. As in everything, God is there to do the work. He, through the Holy Spirit, gives us faith and growth in His Word. You simply need to figure out what daily devotions are going to look like for your family.
Consider a consistent time for your family’s devotions. It should be a time you can usually sit down with God’s Word. If your household is anything like mine, our schedule can be erratic! The most consistent time we have together is the morning. Figure out what works best with your family and work to get into a habit of doing your daily devotions.
Select A Devotion
Pick a devotion. This may seem a little obvious, but there are as many types of devotions as there are colors. Think about the type of style right for your home. Do you have little wiggly kids or older kids with bigger Bible appetites? Is this for the whole family or for yourself? How much time do you have? If you crave a more structured devotional, there are hundreds of books of daily devotions and reflections available with styles suited to everyone. Check with your church or your pastor to see if they have any resources available that may fit your needs. Do an online search and don’t be afraid to try something new. God desires for you to be in His Word and loves anything you do to be there.
For the little ones in your home, a style of devotion that keeps their attention and interest is usually the best. This could incorporate music, hand motions, videos, or podcasts (go ahead and check out the Donuts and Devos Podcast for Kids to engage and feed your child(ren)’s faith!). You could also consider letting your younger ones color pictures during family devotions. These free printables are an easy and fun option to entertain your littles during this time.
Keep it simple. Did you get overwhelmed when searching for a devotion? Many times it’s easier just to not start than have to weed through the variety of resources available. Whatever you choose, make sure it is simple and easy to implement in your family lifestyle. For younger kids, having a structure to your daily devotions helps them know what to expect. An opening response, a Jesus song or hymn, a quick reading from a children’s Bible or book and the Lord’s Prayer works well for kids. The whole thing might take 10 minutes, which keeps devotion time short and sweet!
The only way to know if something is going to work is to get started and try. This will be learning experience at first. Gradually, you will get more comfortable and the flow will come naturally. This is when you will know that devotions have become part of your family’s routine.
When in doubt ask questions. Don’t be worried about knowing all the right answers to your children’s questions or if you are confused about your own readings. Everyone, even those who spend their entire lives studying the Word, sometimes need help to understand Scripture. Remember, it is always okay to answer a question with “I don’t know” so long as your next words are “Let’s find out!” Write down your questions to ask your pastor or other Bible teacher. Encourage your children to ask these questions. They will cherish the opportunity to help you grow in your knowledge while also having more time in the Word themselves.
End your daily devotions in prayer. It might be easy to skip this step. Prayer is the opportunity to talk to God. Just like children ask their parents, we are also invited to take our requests to God, give praise, and thank Him. If the idea of creating your own prayer is uncomfortable, you can simply use the Lord’s Prayer. This is the perfect prayer given to us by Jesus for us to use.
As you start this practice be sure to give yourself and anyone else you may be sharing this time with some grace. This is a learning experience to start with, especially if you are including children in devotional time. Have patience as you explore and figure out this valuable family time. Some days your time together will go great! Other days might be frustrating and feel silly. Take comfort and have peace in knowing you are doing the best thing for your family. God’s Word does not go out without reaping benefits. The faith building work is done by God though the Holy Spirit, regardless of the form your devotional takes. May God bless you as you dive into your family’s devotional practice.