No More Family Devo Guilt

We’ve had a lot of epic fails overtotalfamilymakeover5 the years of trying to have “family devotions.” Sometimes we tried to have a sit-down meeting with squirmy preschoolers with lessons that weren’t age appropriate. Other times, we started books or plans and failed to finish in the midst of busy schedules.

Teaching God’s Word to our children can seem like this huge task.  In order to alleviate the guilt of not following through on our plan, we can be tempted to just stop attempting to do it.

I’ve learned over the years to never stop starting. I’d rather try ten different methods and not finish any of them than give up.  When you aim for nothing, you hit it everytime. In our house we often overcomplicated it. We thought we needed:

  • Undivided attention
  • A huge chunk of time
  • Everybody in the family in the same room
  • Object lessons and crafts
  • A detailed plan

Eventually, I decided to simplify my methods in teaching my children God’s Word. When I put them to bed at night, I began sharing one thing God had taught me from His Word. No fancy lesson. Not everyone together. No master plan.

What we really want to do is whet our child’s appetite for God’s Word so that they will want to study it for themselves. We don’t need to spoon feed them or pour it down their throats.

Today I was reading in Ezra about the people of Israel returning to Jerusalem after 70 years in exile. I read this about Ezra, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.” (Ezra 7:9b-10)

Tonight when I pray with my kids, I will tell them about a cool passage I read about how God’s gracious hand was on Ezra because he was determined to study and obey God’s Word. I will share with them how my dream for them is to have God’s gracious hand on their lives. While its an example rather than a promise, I want them to know that seeking and studying wholeheartedly brings His favor. It doesn’t mean we won’t have trials and struggles, but it reassures us that He is with us through them all. He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

What has God been teaching you lately? Have you memorized a verse you can share with your children? Is there a sermon you listened to on the radio that inspired you? In your Bible study or personal reading time, what has been sticking out to you?

Take a moment and share these simple truths with your child – whether at bedtime, in the car, or sitting around the dinner table. Even if they don’t seem to be listening or roll their eyes, we don’t have to control their response. We just keep sowing seeds that can help our children understand the power of clinging to God’s Word.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

(You can find more ideas on sharing God’s Word with your children in my first trade book coming out September 20th –Total Family Makeover: 8 practical steps to making disciples at home! Its available now for preorder at your local Christian retail store and online! You can read a sample chapter here:http://www.abingdonpress.com/download/907/TotalFamilyMakeoverFirstChapter.pdf)parenting book cover

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