How We Do Family Devo
Family devotion time was not the best part of the day for the Kirby kids when I was growing up. As brand new followers of Christ, my parents had the best intentions, but they had never taught anyone the Bible and they were figuring it out as they went along. Family devotion time consisted of hour-long readings right before bedtime from the King James Version Bible.
Afterward, there was some follow-up discussion, mostly commentary from my dad and some brief Q&A. Kids were given a verse each week to memorize before the next family devotion. While, I do very much appreciate the effort and sincerity that my parents placed upon teaching us the Bible, my feelings and memories about family devotions from my childhood are simply not very favorable.
I believe that family time in the Word of God is a HUGE DEAL. I think it should be a must for all families. We are commissioned by Jesus to go and teach others to observe all we have been commanded. (Matthew 28:20) This should begin in our homes with those God has placed closest to us. While most would agree that time in the Word as a family is essential, from what I hear and observe it seems that family devotion time is usually the source for lots of the same frustrations I felt growing up as a kid. Parents don’t know what to do or what works best, and kids tune out and begrudge the entire process. Each family is different, and each will have to find what works best for them but let me take a moment and share what is working for the Kirby family in case you might glean any of this for use with your family.
During dinner, we sit down at the table and open with a word of prayer. We thank God for the day, for His graces, blessings, provision, and ask for His protection. As we eat, we study the Bible, talk about the implications for our lives and finish in prayer. We have been using a devotional resource entitled “Long Story Short” by Marty Machowski. We are currently working through the Old Testament. We began in Genesis and are now in the book of Judges. Each devotion takes no more than 10-15 minutes, includes fun illustrations and talking points, followed by several questions and a closing prayer thought.
Our goal is to help our kids at this early age build a foundational understanding of the entire Bible that we can build from that as they get older. Whatever you choose to do, be biblical, be consistent, make it a priority, and teach in a manner to make it stick in the minds of your little ones.