Week 9: Share the Story: Family Devotions
My friend Char calls me the great connector. She knows I am passionate about introducing people with common interests. Then I get to watch as the chemistry of like-minded people propels them forward to easily do in concert what they struggled to do alone. What glory to be the one who introduces my child to Jesus Christ.
What introductions do we want to be certain to make for our children?
I tutor my children in school subjects including reading, math, science, and history. I teach them socially acceptable behaviors including to floss their teeth, wash behind their ears, keep their finger out of their nostrils or anyone else’s, drink water, and eat fruits and vegetables so they don’t get scurvy. When they are older I remind them to rotate their tires and balance their finances. Certainly I want to include tutoring them in spiritual matters.
What’s the point of investing seven, fifteen, or thirty minutes regularly in this activity, especially when you and I are exhausted, overwhelmed, and have a thousand other responsibilities demanding our time?
Why do I introduce my children to the Lord?
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Ps. 23:1 nkjv).
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (1 Tim. 2:5–6).
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 nkjv).
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
Family devotions are designed to make the children and me familiar with God’s instructions for life—the Bible. From 2 Timothy 3:16–17 we learn that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
What is important to teach the children?
Deut. 6: 4-7
How do we do Family Devotions?
Read 1 Bible chapter and pray. Talk about what you read. Answer questions the children have. Once this is a routine, add additional elements:
* Memory verse
* One chapter each from Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, New Testament
What do you read?
Begin with great stories. Esther, Ruth, David, Jesus (Matthew, Luke, John)
How do you pray?
Praying is merely talking to God. Tell Him what is on your heart. This will include thanksgiving, concerns, and requests. There is no right or wrong way – prayer is your conversation with the Lord who knows all things already and loves you without end.
What is a blessing?
My favorite blessings to say over my children are:
• Numbers 6:24–26
• Ephesians 3:14–21
Other options include:
• Genesis 12:2–3
• Deuteronomy 28:3–6
• Psalm 20
• Romans 15:5–6, 13
• 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
• Hebrews 13:20–22
• Jude 1:24–25
Suggestions for verses to memorize.
Without pressure, say three times each verse with its address (book and verse). As each phrase is committed to memory, add the next phrase, and then the next verse.
• John 3:16
• John 1:1–14
• Exodus 20:1–17
• 1 Corinthians 13
• 2 Timothy 1:7
• Matthew 6:9–13
• Psalm 23
• Psalm 100
We added the Christmas story (Luke 2:1–20 and Matt. 2:1–15), the Easter story, and individual verses. When my children outgrew my continual oversight and were choosing their own reading material, films, and entertainment, I equipped them with a litmus test by which to select their materials: we memorized Philippians 4:8.
Set a schedule to rehearse each memorized verse once a week. For instance, on Monday practice John 3:16 and John 1:1-14. On Tuesday practice another couple of memorized verses. Without review, all our hard work can fade and we forget what we worked to diligently to memorize.
Never, never, never give up!
So you missed a day. No guilt, simply include devotions the next day. This isn’t a “have to.” Devotions, time together and time learning about the Lord is a “get to.”
Look Back: What aspect of parenting do you feel is most essential?
Move Forward: Begin family devotions this week!
Find more suggestions for your family in Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After