I sat across the cafe table and I asked a good friend, “Is it worth the battle? The battle to do family devotions. Sometimes there’s not enough time, other times they are in a bad mood. I feel like I’m canoeing upstream.”
She confessed that even though she strongly believes in growing her faith she hasn’t been very intentional with family devotions with her family.
We both shared our hearts concerning the battle of family devotions. I shared with her how my love for God grew in such a beautiful way as a child. How my childlike faith was the foundation that has rooted my adult faith. How I talked to God about my day as if He was sitting on the bed with me. How He got me through some challenging times in life.
I walked away from our conversation knowing without a doubt this battle is not about family devotions but about connecting my children to their Savior through God’s word, by living it out in our lives and serving others.
What I learned as a child was that God is real and He deeply cares about me. I drew near to Him and in my childlike faith, I never doubted that He was there.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galations 4:6
I learned what this verse says at an early age not because I had some special connection with God but because his Spirit was in me as He is with all those who come to know Jesus as their Savior.
I didn’t understand this as a child but looking back now I see that our time in God’s word as a family and in Bible study groups, our prayer time, and serving others were the things that solidified my faith beyond an experience but to God’s truth.
So I’ve been on this journey to change our habits and language from “family devotions” to “connecting with God or spending time with God”. Because it’s not about a checklist to read a verse but it’s about connecting with our Heavenly Father. He wants to guide us, be with us, and journey with us in this life as we lean into His word and His presence.
Outsourcing Spiritual Formation
We are an outsourcing generation. We outsource our grocery shopping, house cleaning, dinner meals, house upkeep, car maintenance, and Bible learning…
There is good reason to outsource many things like plumbing, music lessons, or fixing a leaky roof. But when it comes to our children’s spiritual formation it’s important that we rise up and fulfill the calling God has given us as parents.
Creating faith rhythms in our home doesn’t require a seminary degree or a specific role in the church but simply a love for God and His word.
I can say this because my parents didn’t have a middle school education nor were they officially ordained in ministry but their love and dependence on God was something they taught me and it impacted my life. They stumbled through reading God’s Word but they still made this and prayer a priority in our home. All done imperfectly but nonetheless, the message was clear
— God’s word is our guide and He can be trusted.
Let’s stop pointing the finger at society, peers, music, media, and other influences as reasons why our children aren’t following God. Let’s stop hoping they’ll get God’s word into their hearts on Sunday school, youth group, or their mentor.
Instead, let’s start intentionally creating a family culture that’s deeply rooted and grounded in God’s Word and God’s love. Ephesians 3:17
Family Devotion Resources to Help You Connect Your Kids to God’s Word
Let’s start today by making a commitment to get into God’s Word as a family. Maybe you haven’t done it for yourself and this is the motivation you need. I share an article HERE on how you can create faith habits for yourself when you don’t have a lot of time.
Make drawing our children to God a priority! Below are some resources that will help you. If you want more resources and free printables you can subscribe HERE to my newsletter that comes to your inbox once a month.
Family Devotion Resources that are Bible-focused to do with Kids
Most of these are for kids who are upper elementary-teens.
Simple Way to Get Into God’s Word using the 1,2,3 Bible Study Method – I designed this to use with kids to encourage them to dig into God’s word for themselves. You can start with easy books like Psalms, Ephesians, or the book of John.
15 minutes a Day: John Bible Study by Kari Denker I like her studies. We used her John & Galatians study to go through as a family elementary-high school. It was simple but profound at the same time. She also has the option to doodle in some of her exercises which your more creative child might enjoy.
Defined by Kendrick brothers goes through the book of Ephesians. We are currently going through this as a family because they have adult, teen, and kid versions of their study. I bought my kids the study for their level and we each did it on our own throughout the week. Then on Thursday evenings, we talked about what we had learned and watched the videos on Lifeway.
Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer I really enjoyed doing this as a family. She also has adult, teen, and kid versions of her study. You’re studying the same thing but at your own level and can discuss it as a family. We really like the studies that have the same study for different levels. Each child worked on each day on their own and on Thursday evenings we talked about what we had learned.
The Purpose Driven Life for Kids – This one is more of a devotional than a Bible Study but my teens really enjoyed it.
How Great Is Our God – This one is geared toward children but when I would read it to my 1st grader our whole family always enjoyed it.
God’s Names is a another wonderful study to get your whole family into God’s word discovering who God is. I really enjoy all of her studies for our family. God’s Promises is on my list for this coming school year.
The Family Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Parents and Kids Engage– There are 52 short Bible readings, with background information, discussion questions and activities.
Exploring the Bible Together: A 52 Week Family Worship Plan – This book doesn’t have a lot of fluff. It gets you in God’s word, asks 1 question, 1 sentence application, and a prayer.
YouVersion Bible app is a quick way to do a 5 minute devotional with your kids via technology. You can easily add family members or friends. My son uses it with friends as well. It gives him a verse of the day in the morning.
Now that you’ve decided to make God’s word a priority in your home you’re ready for the next step.
Plan. Come up with a plan and make it a simple plan. If your kids are young start with 10 minutes a day. You can do this in the car on the way to school, in the morning, at a meal, or before bedtime. Pick the day or days you will dig into God’s word. Be flexible if those days don’t work then tweak it instead of giving up. If you have a busy week and miss a week of spending time in God’s word together then pick up the next week. It’s not the end of the world and your kids are seeing what it looks like to seek God in the midst of life.
related article: Family Devotions How to Make Them Stick
Practice. Simply start digging into God’s word. If you don’t have the time or the finances to purchase a Bible study don’t worry. You don’t need it! Simply open up the Word of God and start! I’d suggest you start with the book of Psalms or the book of John. Use my free 1,2,3 Bible Study Method and ask God to guide you as you work through it. We’ve used this with our elementary-high school kids.
If you didn’t notice I’m using P’s to help you remember–Priority. Plan. Practice. Purpose.
And now for a final “P”–purpose. Remember the purpose of family devotions as you walk through establishing this Faith rhythm in your home — it’s to draw closer to God, hear from Him and allow Him to guide and speak to you through Scripture.