I will be the first to admit – family devotions are not an area of strength for me. And to be really honest, I can carry a lot of guilt around this topic because I always feel we as a family should be doing more.
I have gone through seasons as a parent where we would spend 30 minutes with family devotion time. When I was a single mom and my children were much younger, we had our devotion time right before bed. It worked at that time for us, and I used this book as my guide, The One Year Devotions for Kids #1.
I really enjoyed that each day’s lesson had a focus on a key theme from a Bible story. My kids really enjoyed the contemporary story that was shared and there were application questions as well as a memory verse. We would then pray after reading and had an index card system to pray through requests from family, friends, and our sponsor child. We mixed the cards each evening so we all had turns praying for different people.
It worked for several years.
When we became a blended family and the age span of our kids really spread, family devotion time became really rigid and, honestly, a bit boring. It was hard to incorporate everyone’s age level and comprehension into one time. So we began just discussing things during our dinner hour, maybe a question from our Sunday service or a topic of conversation that a child had with regard to something that was going on at school.
Let me just say, there is a never ending source of topics you can discuss and filter with scripture from everyday life – and honestly it is so valuable. It worked for a period of time.
Then we had a little guy come into our lives and we were thrown back into the toddler stage – along with having teens and young adults. WOW! Talk about tricky.
We have tailored our family devotion time back to being very simple. We end our dinner time reading a short story that is directed toward our preschooler (well, now kindergartner) and it also has worked well. The older kids still participate and often times help the younger one understand the story and how it is reflective of everyday life.
Then after we are finished, the conversation may continue with the older kids sharing some takeaways from their lives.
These are the two books we’ve used in the past two years and I really like them. They are economical and well-written.
I hope this gives you some help in determining what might work for you and your family. I am no theologian, no bible scholar either, but I do want to attempt to bring something to our family devotion time.
Thankfully for me, my husband is the one to lead in this area. However, I know that many of you may struggle with that and perhaps your husband has not made a step up to help in this area. If you’ve shared your desire, and you do not see engagement, then I would suggest you doing something small and intentional and invite him to participate. You just never know how the Lord will work in that area for your family.