Friday, November 8, 2013

Family Devotions Made Easy!

If your family is anything like OUR family, having family devotions with small children can be...well...challenging to say the least :-) It ends up being hit-and-miss, distracting, drawn out, you name it! More than likely it ends up being another challenge, right at the end of the day when you are the most tired, instead of a time refreshing and unwinding from the long day.

You have in your minds eye all these wonderful things you'd love to do for family devotions like learning multiple verses, memorizing new hymns, using creative flannel graph or drawings to illustrate your long-studied mini message, etc...etc...etc...BUT, in reality, you do good to read one verse, talk about it, pray, and drag everyone to bed. :-)

Am I right?

If I were the one reading this instead of writing it, I would say, "DEAD ON!!!"  *insert crossed eyes and huge sigh*

My husband and I have realized that life comes in stages and that every stage requires a different game plan. What worked when we had one child, does not work with three children who are five years apart, ranging from 12 to 2 ! We realized that a 12 year old needs more than a 2 year old...*whew, rocket science!* LOL!
We also realized that a 2 year old does not have the attention span of a 7 and 12 year old. *whew, more rocket science!* LOL!

So, what did we do?

We did this....

Every morning before Daddy goes to work, he gives us a chapter to read (right now we're in the Psalms). The girls and I read the chapter on our own and then take a verse that really stood out to us and we write it down on our 3x5 card. We then write a few thoughts about why that verse was special to us and we set it aside in a little box to wait for the evening family time.
When Daddy comes home and immediately following supper, the little box comes out and everyone takes their 3x5 card out. One by one we go around the dinner table and read our verse and thoughts out loud. We have a short discussion on the whole chapter, pray, and then everyone is dismissed to finish the evening's activities.

No one is hungry. No one is tired. No one is distracted because we're still sitting at the supper table. Our 2 year old son usually sits through the whole thing with us and "writes" on his card :-) If he can't sit the whole time, he's allowed to get down and go play in his room while we finish.

It's simple. It's thorough. It's easy enough for a 7 year old to do it and yet encourages the 12 year old to dig a little deeper *which she often does*. It strengthens reading capabilities in our 7 year old and challenges us as the parents to be ready to give an answer for the questions that come! All in all, it takes only 20 minutes or so and everyone enjoys it!

So many times in the Christian home, the Bible is the last thing we do...we keep it at bay until the very end of the day when we are the tiredest, most distracted, and most "ready to just go to bed". Bible time ends up being a thing you do in stead of a thing you want to do. And then, more often than not, it gets skipped because the evening's activities went on well past bedtime and it's too late to do anything.

We've come to enjoy this new little thing that we do around God's Word as a family and I hope it's helped spark an idea of what could help you and your family spend more quality time in God's Word!
I'd love to hear what you and your family do for Bible time, so please feel free to leave a comment to share with the rest of us as to what did or didn't work for your family!

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