Spending Time with God and Your Family
At my church, you are encouraged to have family devotions. So what are they? They are a period of time that you set aside to worship God with your family. They can really be at any time of day that you choose, and the format doesn't have to be precise (as far as I know). They are important because they do a few things: they bring your family together, they teach your children about the importance of God, and they set aside some time for you and your family to spend time with God. Here are some ideas that you can use for family devotions with your family.
Photo by hortongrou.
Ideas for Family Devotions
Everybody has their own routine for family devotions, but this is what I do with my kids:
It's short and simple. Sometimes the kids put in their own prayer requests. If you have older kids, you might want to change it up a little bit. You might want to read more than just one verse from the Bible. You might also want to ask everyone for something that they're thankful for today. Some people like to sing a song about Jesus together. Others memorize Bible verses. We usually sing and memorize Bible verses during school time (I homeschool).
When to Have Family Devotions
The best time to have family devotions is whatever time works best for your family. Some people like to do them at breakfast. That doesn't work for us, because we don't have a set morning schedule like that, and people get up at different times. Other people like to do them at dinner time. Again, my dh is usually at school, so that's a bad time for us too. We usually do them at the kids' bedtime. My husband is usually home by then, and if he's not, then I'll say the prayer without him.
Singing During Family Devotions
I thought this was cute.
The Book My Family Uses
We started reading this to my daughter when she was still in my tummy. She's 8 1/2 now, so we've been reading this book almost daily for 9 years. The characters are cute, and the stories are short and relevant to little kids. Each day focuses on one Bible verse. It's falling apart we've used it so much. Maybe it's time to move on to the more advanced book...
Devotions for Preschoolers
The same cute kids are in another book for preschoolers. I saw this book at Toys R Us once, when my book started to fall apart, and thought about getting it, but my littlest was still more baby than preschooler. This book gets 5 stars from most Amazon reviewers. One reviewer said "this book is awesome." If it is anything like the first book, my kids would love it too.
Family Devotions Continued...
Devotions are for Families of All Ages
When the kids get older, it seems like there's less time to do family devotions. Just because the kids are older doesn't mean that you should give up devotions. Older kids run into even more circumstances where they are challenged to make right decisions than little kids are.
Devotions for Kids
This devotional book is more appropriate for slightly older kids. There's a Bible verse, an application, and an activity. This might not be the best book for nighttime devotions, unless you did the activity the following morning.
Devotions for Older Kids and Teens
I decided to check out this book because I was familiar with the name of Josh McDowell. You can look at the first few days of devotions on Amazon.com. This book is more appropriate for middle schoolers and teens than younger kids. It covers topics such as telling the truth even when your friends are lying, and listening to the right kinds of music.
Devotions Without Kids
While many people start family devotions as a way to teach their children about Jesus, you can do family devotions even if it's just you and your spouse. Whether you don't have kids or the kids have moved away, your relationship can benefit from family devotions as well.
Devotions for Couples
If you've seen the movie Fireproof, then you probably recognize The Love Dare. This is a devotional for married couples. One Amazon reader called this the "Best Devotional Ever!" They used all caps, but I'm going to refrain from yelling.