When we make time to share faith as a family that helps children value connecting to God. It also gives us time to process our lives and understand how God interacts with us. Family devotions done regularly is one of the best ways to nurture faith in children. Make the most of time together to grow in faith as a family.
Styles and choices of Family Faith Time
Whether you label the time as devotions, Bible time, or another name, gathering together to engage in God’s Word builds a faith foundation and helps children get to know God and a godly worldview. The style you use is up to you. Here are a few ideas:
- Read and discuss the word
- Use scripture memory cards to chat about one each day, find it in the Bible and read the passage that contains the verse, and repeat it together to memorize it.
- Sing a praise song, read scriptures, chat, and pray together.
- Use a family or children’s devotional as a guide. This may include hands-on activities, scripture passages, discussion questions, and contemporary stories that illustrate the biblical principal.
- In summary, choose a style that’s comfortable for you to do. You can always change it to fit your family’s needs.
Choose how and when you will do devotions and set some guidelines.
- First, schedule the time or it might never happen.
- You can meet daily or weekly.
- Choose the place such as around a table or in the family room.
- Set time limits that are reasonable for the ages of your children.
- Add in fun elements such as hands-on activities, singing, or snacks at the end.
Involve your children. Older ones can read the scriptures. Younger ones can repeat an important phrase or verse. Snap photos and keep a record of what you studied, and comments made by your kids. Encourage your children to speak up by praising them for commenting and responding to their questions. If you don’t have an answer, let them know you will research their question.
Personalities and Devotions
Children are not all alike. They have different personalities, so some are more outgoing while others are analytical and quiet. Be sure to include elements that match your children’s different temperaments.
Act it out, focus on people. Stories, hands on fun
Bottom line, focus on action, point out what worked, hands on activities with a purpose
Dig into questions, look at maps, chart, artistic activities that illustrate facts
Simple chat, seeing how peace is achieved
Likes a study buddy, praise, and some fun elements, refocus child as needed
Will set goals, wants to choose curriculum, want applause for doing their work
Wants time to work, needs to lower expectations, appreciate the hard work
Schedule frequent breaks, goals of a few steps/problems at a time, reward for finishing (jokes, rest, snack)
In high traffic area
Organized by a wall with bulletin board for charts, goals
In a quiet, private area, with containers to keep things organized
Avoid a chair that’s too comfy, set up where child can seen and be refocused on completing tasks
Fun, social rewards, show and tell after completing work
Give child choices and some control
Order, quiet, time
Rest periods, snacks
Commit to family devotions and keep at it. It may take a little incentive to get children engaged. For my family, we did them in the evening, before dessert. If we did have time, then we also skipped any dessert and said, “If there’s no time for God’s Word that is sweeter than honey, than there’s no time for other sweets.” That motivated them to show up and be ready for the devotions.
If your children are not excited about the devotions, try a different format, book, or style. Remember and share the benefits of family devotions.
- Scriptures connect us to God
- Sharing faith strengthens our bonds
- When we pray and study the Word, we also learn how God works in our lives.
- God’s Word also increases our vocabulary and helps us develop analytical skills and other skills.
- Gives us hope.
- You grow in knowledge of God together.
- Your faith grows as you chat about what happens in life and see how God is part of your life.
End your time with prayer. This can be a simple thanks for God being with your family, or a time for each person to share a need and a praise and then have the next person pray to thank God for the praise and to pray about the need. Closing with prayer helps children realize that God listens to us and wants to answer prayers.
Let devotions be the center of your family faith and a great way to grow in faith as a family.