/ 6.5.10 / 2 Comments / Children , Devotions , family , home schooling
Readers’ Q & A: Family Devotions
Q.How Do You Do Family Devotions?
Trudy at Sewing with Trudy asked me to talk about this…so here it is!
A. Ever since the children were very young, we have taken the time to teach our children about God and the bible. We always pray together during these times and I sometimes play the guitar and we sing a worship song together. The singing is optional for those who feel hesitant about that though. We usually sit in the living room but sitting around the dining room table and reading and praying together after supper or breakfast is a great way too… It helps to establish the habit of family devotions if you have a set time.
Everyone’s family has a different approach to family devotions, so I could never possible say that any one method was the best. We have changed many times over the years!
When the children were small, we used devotional books geared to their age, sang simple songs and said very short prayers. :0) Tim always read a bible verse or even short passage to go with the devotional book.
When they were little older we relied on Our 24 Family Ways. It allowed more study and had a color page, memory verse, suggested activites, etc.
In middle school, we used the Character Sketches Series series which is just fantastic! You learn character qualities through nature and through famous people in the bible. The kids especially loved these books! They are pricey but worth every penny and include phenomenal drawings and amazing science facts too. They are really almost encyclopedic in size! Each one would last a year.
And in their early teens, we have read chapter by chapter through the in their Old Testament, and then we switched to the New Testament when they were in high school. That’s when we got into apologetics in a more serious way.
Sometimes, I lead if Tim can’t, but most of the time Tim leads. We always ask them what they think and when they are done, we share what we feel they need to understand about the passage as well. I have to say we have some very interesting theological discussions! This is a great time to teach them why they believe what they believe.
Honestly, to tell you the truth, they no longer all agree with all of our ‘particular’ doctrinal positions nor our standards. As far as we are concerned, by the time they are older teens, that is their decision. Of course, they had to respect our standards at home, but we allow a lot of freedom for them to listen to what God is saying to them. We want it to be their faith…not ours. There’s an old saying that I find to be very true…Suggestions for How to Do Family Devotions:
Any or all of these things could be part of your family’s group devotional time just as they are or have been in ours.
- Start by praying and asking the Lord to help everyone listen to what he is trying to say to you through this passage.
Sing a worship song appropriate to your kids’ age. Like Wee Kids Tapes or Videos, music on the radio, hymns that you play on the piano, contemporary music you play on the guitar…etc. (I even write worship songs which you can find here.) I loved to let the kids ‘help’ play sometimes. Get instruments that they can use to join in. Now my kids are old enough to lead the music themselves, since they play guitar too—all five of them in fact!
- Read a devotional story geared towards your children’s age group.
This was our favorite devotional book when the children were Pre-School age…this 1971 version uses real famous art masterpieces in every picture! For those of you wanting to introduce your children to art, this adds an extra benefit!
Some suggested devotionals: The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon...online, Max Lucado Daily Devotions
Read a bible passage and discuss it. Ask the children what it means to them. Most good devotional books will have questions you can ask. Ask the kids how you can DO the things you just TALKED about.
Ask if anyone would like you to pray for them today. Discuss people you know who need prayer especially friends and family. Ask each child to pick one person to pray for. You and or hubby, pray for the children as a way to close the prayer time.
You can start a family prayer journal to record requests and God’s answers as they have happened! It will build their faith in a way that nothing else can. We’ve yet to have an unanswered prayer!The miracles God has done in our lives are a huge part of our family’s history and heritage.
- Memorize a verse and write it down. Tape it to the fridge for everyone to see and work on.
If you are married and don’t have children, or if you have young adult children preparing for the day they will get married, then the very best book for daily devotions I have ever read is The Love Dare. It will help you really learn how to build your relationship with each other.
I wish they would write it for families!! We’ve been using it for our teens and I just paraphrase it as I go, to make it as applicable as possible. It’s really helped me kids understand how to treat each other and others the way they should. It spells out what Love, the heart of real life in Christ, is supposed to be and how it should look as you live with those around you. Jacob, my 17 yr. old, said that the best devotional he’s ever read to help him through the struggles of older teen life is Every Young Man’s Battle. They also have Every Young Woman’s Battle as well. These would be good to do one on one with a parent and child, especially since the go into some very adult topics. You might want to pre-view these before buying just to make sure that is the direction you want to head.
There are many other things you can do, but these ideas should help you get started.There are so many good resources that I’d love to have you guys comment with your favorites so that others could get them too. We are only one family and our kids are older. Tell me how you do family devotions!
Another Answer to Why Do You Home School?
Country Mama of Life and Love in the Country wrote..
This is one of my favorite sites and there was an article in this week's newsletter I thought you might like to read. I really enjoyed it.
Country Mama is the reader who asked my why I home schooled with prompted the long post I wrote in response. You can read that post here. But I have to say her link leads to a really good answer with some other angles to the question. Check it out if you have questions! She also writes very interesting articles that I think are very hopeful to new homeschoolers on her blog, like this one about their first trip to a home school book fair.
Just a quick reminder, that I'm gone to a tournament with the kids and can't get to the internet except to check emails via my Ipod..maybe... I'll be home Sunday evening. :o) This is a previously scheduled post. :o)