Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it"
Children naturally follow the path that their parents walk, and get excited over the things that interest their parents. Parents are the greatest influence when shaping the lives of children, whether for good or for bad. We see it often: children love the sport that dad or mom is a fan of, or they have an interest in a hobby that gets mom and dad excited. As much as parents need to enter their child's world, children love to be a part of their parent's world!
This is a tremendous opportunity to instill a love for the Word of God in our children's hearts. Thanks to 'child-like faith' children who are taught the truths of God's Word from an early age naturally crave to know and love God, but this desire must be nurtured as they grow older, or the cares of this world will begin to encroach on it and choke it out.
One of the most effective ways to regularly nurture a child's love for God is through DAILY DEVOTIONS. Devotions are most effective when done together as a family - where children can observe their parents taking time out of the busy schedule to make worshiping the Lord a priority.
Devotions do not need to take a long time, or even follow a rigorous schedule. In fact, a casual gathering around the Word and prayer for the daily needs does not require a large time investment, but rather a pledge to consistency and faithfulness.
Here is a brief outline that can be used for family devotions:
- Ask if there are any specific prayer requests and then pray over them together as a family. Either a parent can pray or the children can take turns each day. Parents should pray over their children, thanking God for them and asking God's blessing on their day.
- Read a portion of Scripture together. You can choose a book of the Bible and read through it a little bit at a time, or select portions of Scripture to meet a certain need in your family. You can even select seasonal Scriptures, such as reading through the Christmas story in the month of December.
- Take a few minutes to share some thoughts about the Scripture that was read. Perhaps a parent can use this as a teaching moment, but it is also fun to allow the children to choose a verse and tell what they learned from it. This would also be a good time to ask if anyone in the family had a question or did not understand any of the verses that were read.
- Choose a song to sing together. It could be a verse of a favorite hymn, a Scripture song, or even a silly song!
- Hugs and kisses! There is so much value to your children starting off their day feeling loved by their parents.
These devotions shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. It is not the quantity of the devotion time, but the quality and consistency that make all the difference. Faithfully meeting around the Word of God with your children every day will speak volumes to them of the priority that your relationship with God has in your life, and children will want to follow that example. Let your devotion time be fun and appealing, not a time to correct all the wrongdoings. Let it be a sweet time of fellowship to ground your family in doing right.
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