How to Cultivate Successful Devotional Times With Your Kids (3 Tips to Get You Started)

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What do you desire most for your children? I think if we were all asked that same question, our answers would have something to do with our children loving God, knowing Him, and living for Him when they grow up.  Any other desire we have for our children would be empty without them knowing the Lord, and ultimately all good things in their lives will spring up from a meaningful relationship with Him.

That being said, I think it’s so important as our kids are little to expose them to the things of God that are going to help them grow as they mature.  Things like reading the word, prayer, and worship are all important for them to experience when they are small, and if we can (even imperfectly) continually expose them to such things during the course of their young lives, those experiences will become part of who they are.  They will become more and more meaningful as they grow older and take ownership of them in their own lives.

Easier said than done, right? {ha!} Especially when you have multiple children and littles running around, it may feel impossible to have a successful devotional time with your children.  It may seem pointless to even try!  Let me tell you: It’s not impossible or pointless!  You can do it… And it’s not as hard as you think.

Here are a few tips to help you set up a successful devotional time with those fabulous kiddos of yours.

1 – Take advantage of the times you have a “captive audience.”

Meal time is a great time to have a short devotional time with your kids.  In our house right now, we have what I like to call “Breakfast and Bible.”  I scarf down my breakfast before the kids come in the kitchen.  Then I read to them while they are eating breakfast.  My kids include two girls ages 8 and 5 and a two and a half year old boy, so we read a story from The Jesus Storybook Bible (it’s really great!!) or a portion of Let’s Just Laugh At That for Kids (so awesome!!). Needless to say, my boy won’t stay seated the whole time and that is totally okay.

After the story, I usually ask them what they’d like to pray about or thank God for, and we take turns praying out loud. They start the prayer, I finish up. The whole devotional time takes about 5-10 minutes and is super easy to implement because they are eating.

Note: Please, please do not skip eating in order to try this. 🙂  You have to take care of yourself, mama!  I only do this if I can eat my breakfast before beginning to read.

jesus storybook bible

I love the Jesus Storybook Bible!

lets just laugh at that for kids

This is a wonderful tool to help kids (and grown-ups, ahem…) understand the difference between the enemy’s lies and God’s truth!

 

 

2 – Keep it simple.

The simpler your devotional time with your kids is, the better.  If you start by just planning one or two quick things, you can always add more later on if you think your kids are ready for more.  Your devotional time is much more likely to go smoothly if you keep it short and to the point.  This does not at all diminish the power behind it.  It’s just that kids attention spans are not that long, and with so many distractions, it will go much better if you don’t plan too much.

Also, depending on the age of your kids, you’ll probably have more success if you use a kids Bible or other resource meant for kids, rather than just reading from the King James or something. 🙂 At least when they are really little.  We memorize scripture from the Bible (not a kids version) and I think that is SUPER important, as it creates “mental pegs” for them to “hang” knowledge on as they get older.  But as far as reading to my kids as a group, it usually goes much better to read from a kids Bible.

3 – Be realistic with your expectations.

Kids are going to be kids…  Just have fun with it!  Some days, they will surprise and delight you with their enthusiasm. Other days, they may not seem to care about the stories at all! There will be interruptions, attitudes, and probably some whining about something. (Anyone else have a 4-5 year old girl?) Don’t let that get you down. Don’t give up! I love what Sarah Mackensie says in her book Teaching from Rest:

“If you are being asked to feed a multitude with a tiny basket of loaves and fish, then bring your basket. He starts with that… We bring our basket–whatever talents, skills, abilities we have–and we seek Him with everything we are. He works the miracle.”

So read your story, sing your songs, pray your prayers, and then just trust that God is doing the work within the hearts of your children. There will come a day that they will surprise you with how much they are picking up on.  You will cry happy tears as you realize their hearts are beginning to understand His.

Depending on the phase of life you are in and your family’s schedule, you may have to get creative. Breakfast time might not work for you, but maybe lunch time will. Maybe you could read to the kids while they play with blocks, and you could call it “Blocks and Bible!” Maybe right before bed would work best. If you are not sure when is the best time to fit it in, ask the Holy Spirit to help you figure it out. He definitely will!  If you try it one way and it doesn’t work, don’t give up.  Give it a few days, revise your (simple) plan, and then try again.

Blessings and grace to you, mama friend!

Love, Tasha

P.S. How do you think this might work best for your family? Let’s chat about it in the comments below. Do you already have a plan that you utilize with your children? If so, what tips do you have to offer? Let us know! 🙂

 Linking up with Holley Gerth and Faith n Friends today!

Faith 'n Friends

About the author

Tasha

Tasha Medellin is a head-over-heels-in-love wife and not-so-perfect mother of three who loves spending time outdoors, curling up with a good book, and simply basking in the riches of God's glorious grace.

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