It can be tricky to get your whole family together for devotions every day.
Everyone has different schedules, and what’s more, everyone has different spiritual needs.
Even if you can gather each morning or evening, it’s hard to keep kids engaged in the lesson.
Here are 3 ideas you’ll want to hear if you’re struggling with your family’s devotions.
Family devotions are an important part of Christian life.
The Bible commands parents to “train up a child in the way he should go” so that “even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
It’s important to keep track of your children’s spiritual growth, their questions about God and faith, and their understanding of the Bible.
But between the modern family’s busy schedules and a wide range of needs, it can be hard to know what approach is most effective for family devotions.
Here are a few ideas for your family to try!
1. Ask your children about their needs — then tailor your study to those needs.
Start by finding out where your children are in their spiritual journeys.
What do they want to learn from your current family devotions? They’ll be more likely to stay engaged if they’re invested in the choices.
Each person’s relationship with God looks different. He communicates with each of your children differently.
Ask each child how they communicate with God and ask them how they’ve been growing lately. As a parent, you’ve already seen their spiritual growth, but they may perceive it in a different way.
Once you’ve asked your children about their current spiritual needs — and weighed them against your understanding as their parent — brainstorm ways to tailor your family devotions to those needs.
Maybe one of your children would like to hear different viewpoints on Scripture as they grow in their personal Bible study. You can seek out recorded sermons from a variety of theologically sound sources in order to strengthen their walk.
Maybe one of your children loves to learn about the character of God as an artist. Study the impact of Scripture on prominent artists throughout history, and discuss how their artwork imitates God’s work — or doesn’t.
There are many ways to creatively study Scripture and tailor your family devotions to your family’s specific needs and personalities!
2. Serve together in your community.
Family devotions don’t have to be limited to a quiet Bible study! Consider a practical, hands-on approach to devotions to engage your children fully.
Are you studying Jesus’ life through one of the Gospels? Teach your children to imitate His compassion by serving together at a soup kitchen, food bank, or community health day.
Maybe one of your children wants to learn more about the life of Paul or Peter. Brainstorm ways to go out and share the Gospel with those in your neighborhood to give your children a taste of evangelism.
You can hand out Gospel booklets, perform a skit together, or do a prayer walk for your community.
Or, if you want to keep your service closer to home, find practical ways to serve the neighbors on either side of you!
Do they need leaves raked? A garage cleaned? A fence painted? Gather your family and love your neighbors by meeting their immediate needs!
3. Encourage your kids to teach each other (with supervision).
It’s a fact that teaching helps us to learn. When we have to help others understand ideas, we increase our understanding as well as our confidence and communication skills.
As a parent, you probably do most of the teaching in family devotions, since you are farther along in your spiritual walk. It’s important for your children to learn from you.
But you can also encourage your children to take a teaching role in your family devotions — with your supervision, of course!
Help each child to study a short passage in preparation for family devotions. Have them write down their observations and questions and then ask them to share how they see God working out this passage in their life at the moment.
When it comes time for devotions, encourage your child to lead the discussion by sharing their study of the Scriptures. Be careful to correct any misunderstandings, and if they have residual questions, answer them as best you can.
But allow your children the joy of sharing their walk with God, and encourage them to learn on a deeper level by teaching!
As you think through these tips, pray over what God would have your family do to study His Word and get to know Him better.
Remember, He takes joy in seeing parents “bring [their children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).