Thinking about family devotions can seem a bit intimidating.
If you google “family devotions” you’ll find thousands of options all claiming to be THE BEST way for your family to chase after God together.
But then you order one and try it and after a few days of you fighting the family to engage, you give up. Or even if you keep fighting through it, your experience isn’t quite the ideal setting you had pictured when you attempted to start family devotions.
We’ve all been there.
There just seems to be this gap between our desire to help our family engage with God and the reality and messiness of having kids and helping them understand how to worship a God they cannot see.
I don’t want you to give up on pushing your family to engage with God though! So here’s one simple thing for you to start today to begin those conversations.
1 Simple Way to Start Having Family Devotions
Let your child pick what he/she wants to read
If they are young, maybe it’s the Jesus Storybook Bible. If they are older, have them pick a reading plan they are interested in on the Bible app. Or if you need more specific options, head here for a list of all my favorite family devotion books.
The most important thing to know for this step is your child gets to pick, and everyone doesn’t have to read the same thing.
Give space for everyone to read/look through what he/she picked to read on their own
If your kids are too young to read, simply tell them to pick what Jesus book they would like to look through. Then sit them down to “read”.
If you have school-age kiddos, set a timer and let them know for the next 5-10 minutes, you want them to look through and read what they picked.
My kids are middle school – high school so I simply let them know before they do anything else, they need to read through their devotional and find one thing that stands out to them as they read.
Call everyone together to share one thing that stood out to them
This doesn’t need to be a super intense conversation but simply a casual conversation about what the child just read. I usually go first and share 1-2 verses that stood out to me as I read my Bible. As you share, try really hard not to lecture or give a sermon! You want to model what you want your kids to do so keep your language simple, concise, and easily copied by your child.
For example, if you have toddlers-preschoolers, read your verse and say something along the lines of “I love how Jesus showed me ________” . Then ask them to show you their favorite picture or story in their book and respond with, “I love how Jesus showed YOU _________”
If you have school-aged kids, just bump up the language a bit. Maybe more along the lines of “The verse I think God wanted me to look at this morning was _________. It made me think _________. What verse or idea do you think God showed you this morning?”
And again, older kids get to self-direct a bit. And while they can understand a bit more, it is still super important you don’t lecture or give a sermon! Simply say “I read ________ today. As I was reading, God brought __________ to mind. I then starting praying through______________”. You want to simply summarize what your take-away was but don’t want to preach. I promise your teenager will lose interest if you preach.
Then give them the chance to do the same by asking them what was a verse that stood out to them and why.
Once everyone has shared, let someone pray and then go on with your day.
This whole activity may take 10 minutes or it may take 45 minutes. How long it takes will depend on the mood of your family on that particular day. The goal is to simply give them an opportunity to talk about scripture and pray together. The goal isn’t to have a perfect moment.
I told you it was 1 simple way to start family devotions! I like to make things as uncomplicated as I can! For more ideas to incorporate pursuing Christ as a family, check out this resource.
Why are Family Devotions Important
You have just a few short years to impress upon your children who God is. And while the younger years seem to take FOREVER, eventually time begins to fly and your kids will only get busier and busier.
As your child begins to navigate activities, school, sports, and friendships on his/her own, you want to make sure there is a foundation laid. You want to continually put truth into his/her head as they navigate the world around them. And simply taking them to church on Sunday, while a great first step, isn’t enough to help them learn to navigate the world with a Biblical perspective.
You only have a few years to capture your child’s heart and point them to Jesus. Family devotions are an easy and intentional way to accomplish this mission Jesus gave you when He blessed you with a child.
While we all have this vision of a perfect family devotion, most of the times we need to come down to reality and realize it is more important to simply talk about the things of God than to create a perfect moment. So try this 1 simply way to start family devotions as you start your day tomorrow and then let me know how it goes!
Looking for other ideas to incorporate reading the Bible into your family? Check out this post for another simple way to engage your family with God’s Word.
Full disclosure, any Amazon link you see on a post is an affiliate link. I promise I will only link to products I truly can recommend or love and if you choose to purchase a product using my link, I would be extremely grateful!