You ask the question, “Who does Family Devotionals?” to a group of parents and you will get mixture of groans, guilty glances and a very few happy hands in the air.
Most faith-filled families have tried these devotional times and many struggle with them. It’s hard to get those little ones to even sit still for a Bible reading.
Those families who have found this activity to actually be useful, fun, AND satisfying have a few tips for us.
1) Remember to keep the moment – that – just A MOMENT. Especially during your child’s toddler years. Think about it as cooking oatmeal – three minutes and they’re done! Babies and pre-schoolers have little, tiny attention spans, so keep it short and sweet.
2) Make your devotions FUN! As you talk about God, talk of things that will make your child SMILE :). As you explain about the love of Jesus, make sure you have a SMILE on your face. Talk glowingly, happily about the creation of God. GET EXCITED! Put scriptures to music and sing with JOY!
3) Use the time to cuddle with your kids, giving lots of KISSES AND HUGS, even tickles, during devo time. Your child will learn to associate these spiritual moments with happy feelings. This is not time for lectures or long faces.
4) As your child gets older (and they will), you can actually READ BIBLE STORIES to them. And as they begin to learn to read themselves, they can read the stories to you. Encourage them to practice reading scriptures to the family as they mature in their ability.
5) Finally, Moms and Dads, talk to your child about YOUR OWN FAITH. But not just during scheduled family devotional times, but in your everyday activities. There are plenty of teachable moments as you drive them to school or ball practice or work on homework together.
Parents, remember the purpose of family devotional times. It is, after all, for our kids’ faith to be one that walks and talks with them!
Not one that just sits still.