Tips for Family Devotions

Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 – And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Recently, we have challenged parents to take the lead in the discipleship and spiritual growth of their children.   Although, children’s and youth pastors are important, they can never replace the God-given responsibility of parents.  Let’s be honest though, such a task can be intimidating and daunting for the average parent.  How, then, is an untrained parent supposed to teach their children the Bible?  Here are a few practical tips.
1. Make it convenient.
Admittedly, it is difficult to gather the kids and get them calmed down for a time of devotion when they are rambunctious and full of energy.  It is so much easier to find a time when everyone is already together.  For us, breakfast was the most convenient.  This allowed us a few moments to have a brief devotion and pray together before the boys left for school.  Of course, that schedule may not work for you.  The best time may be at dinner or right before bed.   Pick a time that is best for your family. 
2. Make it short. 
That may sound unspiritual, but you do not need to have long devotions or read long passages of Scripture.  Remember that children have a short attention span. You will probably accomplish more in a shorter period of time than you would if you tried to extend it.  
Don’t underestimate the value of a brief time of family worship.  You can do the math.   If you consistently spend 10 minutes a day, three days a week, for 15 years, you will have spent 390 hours reading and discussing the Bible with your kids by the time they enter young adulthood. Read a few verses; ask a few questions and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
3.    Make it fun. 
Jesus was not a boring teacher.  He powerfully taught the gospel in ways that were engaging and enjoyable.   He used stories, parables and even humor to captivate His audience. 
You can do the same thing.  Look for fun, entertaining ways to teach your kids the Bible. Can you act out a portion of the Bible story? Can you incorporate an object lesson? How about a sword drill or a Bible game? Look for ways to make family devotions interactive and fun for your children.
4.   Make it about Jesus.
This may seem like an unnecessary point, but don’t tune me out. It is easy for us to unconsciously make family devotions about us.  How can your children be better students?  How should they treat others?  How can they be more obedient?  Don’t get me wrong, the Bible does address practical, everyday issues.  Nevertheless, your goal as a parent is not to make your kids better, but to point them to Jesus.  The more they get to know Jesus, the better students, friends and children they will be.  
Moms and dads, don’t be scared to dive in and lead your family.  Their spiritual growth is not dependent on what you know or your ability to teach.  Remember that the Holy Spirit is the master Teacher.  You goal is to simply lead them to Jesus and let Him do the rest.   You can do this!
Mark 10:14 – Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 





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