Snags for Family Devotions
All of us who have attempted to lead our families through devotions and family worship have experience snags. If your family is anything like mine, then snags come from all sides as you hope to create a consistent time and reverent time of Family Worship.
Sometimes it’s the kids who are too riled up to sit. Sometimes it’s the parents that feel pressure to get to the next thing on the schedule. Sometimes circumstances of life make it “impossible” to sit down together for any length of time during the day. Sometimes it is tempting to just say “Forget it, we will just have to do it tomorrow.”
Why Does it seem so Hard?
Many of these difficulties that we have leading family devotions are self-inflicted.
First, our consistency is determined by our commitment: Choose the best time to gather your family and protect it. If parents don’t make family devotions a commitment worth protecting, then no on in the family will take it serious.
Second, how your children respond to your call for family devotions will be determined by two things; consistency and interest. If the family is irregular when it comes to sitting down together, then we cannot assume that our children will somehow act with expected reverence for God during out Bible study. Reverence for God is learned by consistent opportunities to practice the attitude that parents teach.
Yet, in an attempt to teach reverence, we can also take all the joy out of learning who God is. Effectively killing their interest in Godly traditions like Family devotions. You will make leading family worship much easier and more enjoyable if you can find ways to make it fun for your children.
Here are some ideas to add creativity to your family worship time:
Go outside after dinner and read the Bible while you sit at a park. Be outside as you read the Bible.
Act out the Bible verses that you are reading: Your kids are running on so many mental levels that is good to get them moving and interacting with the Scripture. And you won't have to worry about sitting still.
Get out the colored pencils and crayons and make Bible art: This is a fun way to interact with each other and with the Bible. Plus it can be used as a reminder of the study if you hang up the art work around the house. (Carefully consider the 2nd commandment if you do this often.)
Play music or sing songs before (or after) Bible time to encourage kids to enjoy the time of worship: Try to pick music that you children will be able to remember and then learn to sing the songs together. Signing the Psalms is a great idea for Family worship.
Take your prayers for a walk. Pray out loud as you walk through the neighborhood. Pray for your community and pray for people you see.
Ask your kids to repeat as loud as they can each word of a particular verse that you read….then do the reverse and tell them to recite it quietly after each word. This lays the ground work for memorization, and is really fun for little kids.
Instruct your kids to ask you hard questions about the Bible after your read. Its fun because, sometimes your children will ask you really hard questions. Doing this communicates a desire to help them learn and they find it fun to stump you. Remember, it is OK to say “That is a really hard question, and I don’t actually know the answer right now. Maybe we can try to find the answer together”
Wake your kids up early for a special sunrise family devotions
Write down what your Children talk about after each Bible reading and then read some of their thoughts back to them.
Make a point to tell your family why the passage that you read is special to you. They are interested in your thoughts even at young ages.
Fun in Family Worship
I realize that there are very serious portions of scripture that we should always bring a seriousness to our family worship. Following the emotional tone of the passage that you are reading would be prudent. With that said, please enjoy your time in God’s word with your children. How you approach the word of God will be the example that each of your children follow.
Be like the righteous man in Psalm 1:2 “his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
If we show delight in the words of God, chances are, our children will too. Remember that God created our children with imaginations for a reason. Tap into that gift for your family worship. You will honor God and your children will love it.
Don't be afraid to make time around the Bible fun in your home!
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