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Are you wondering how to start family devotions? Maybe you are wondering how you can involve your toddler in your family devotions. Today I will give you 12 simple tips that you can use right now to teach the Bible to your family.
1. Have Your Own Devotion Time
You are might be thinking “What do my personal devotions have to do with starting my family devotions?” Let me start off by saying that family devotions cannot replace your own personal devotion time.
Focusing on your own alone time with God will help prepare your heart and mind before you start your family devotions.
You can prepare your heart and mind by diving into a personal devotion book. I highly recommend the devotionals by Pastor Paul Chappell.
His series “A Daily Word” are short devotionals that end with daily scripture reading. One of my favorite things abut this devotional is that you can use it to help you read through the entire Bible in a year.
My husband and I read through the “Rooted in Christ” devotional and loved it. I just found that Pastor Chappell has written a “Time Out for Parents” devotional that ends each day with a parenting principal. If you haven’t started your own personal devotion time I suggest you start with one of these two devotionals.
(We just ordered the “Time Out for Parents” devotional and we LOVE it too!)
2. Study Ahead of Time
The second thing that you can do to start family devotions within your own home is to study the devotion before you sit down with your family.
It is as simple as taking a few moments to read through the verses or lesson you are covering during your family devotional time. Write down a some of the key points that you want to share with your family. You can even come up with one or two questions to make sure your children have full understanding of what you covered in the devotion.
3. Purchase a Good Family Devotional Book
The “My Family Time with God” devotional is a family focused devotional that is laid out in a similar way to the devotionals written by Pastor Paul Chappell.
It also features a new devotion for each day of the year.
The two essential details of a good family devotional book are that it:
- Is biblically sound
- Addresses your family’s unique needs
4. Make it Fun
Do you enjoy being lectured to? No? Well your kids don’t either! It is so important to show your children that spending time in God’s word is both exciting and relevant to their own lives.
A great way to have family devotions with a toddler is to incorporate one of the many interesting stories about people in the Bible.
Focusing on a person’s story helps relay the message and allows your kids to apply it to their own lives.
A useful tip from my pastor’s wife is to have the children act out different Bible stories with funny voices.
You can also include costumes to add to the fun! Anything that you can do to make learning the Bible fun and and memorable will help your kids!
5. Listen to Music
There is a reason that many churches begin their services with some type of music or singing.
Music lifts your mood and prepares your heart to receive God’s word.
Listening to music is also a great way to teach your children biblical prinicples while infusing fun into your family time.
Some of my favorite Christian music groups include:
- Calvary Baptist Bible College
- Abigail Miller
- Mylon Hayes Family
- The Rochesters
- West Coast Baptist College
- Wesley’s Wuppets– Great songs for toddlers and younger children! My daughter is obsessed.
6. Practice Verse Memorization
One of the easiest ways to practice verse memorization is by making it fun!
I find that many toddlers and even older kids really like memorizing verses when they are incorporated into a song or rhyme.
You can find some great videos on Youtube that you can use during your family devotions or as a starting point to make up your own songs!
If you are just beginning to teach your children memory verses, consider starting with Ephesians 6:1. It will build a solid foundation for obedience.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”Ephesians 6:1 KJV
7. Start and End with Prayer
I get it! Leading your kids in prayer can seem like a scary thing.
They move around, they may start talking or playing with toys.
But let me encourage you by saying that you CAN teach your kids to pray! The best time to start is right now.
If you don’t already, try to incorporate prayer into your mealtimes. This is a great introduction to prayer. You can also get into the habit of praying with your family at bedtime.
Don’t worry about a long prayer, especially when you are teaching your kids to pray.
The four key steps to prayer that you should focus on are:
- Address God
- Praise God for who He is
- Thank God for your blessings
- Ask God for continued blessings, any needs you may have, and for protection over your family
8. Quality over Quantity
Most children, especially toddlers, have a short attention span. You want to keep your devotion short!
Choose a specific point that you want made and get to it quickly!
This will keep your kid’s attention and not make it seem like a chore. Five minutes of devotions and prayer is plenty for a toddler.
If you have a teen they can definitely handle a longer devotion. As your children get older you can lengthen your family devotional time to fit your needs.
9. Use Object Lessons
An object lesson is a practical way of teaching your children the Bible. Oftentimes you can use a physical object to help teach a spiritual truth.
Pinterest is a great resource for fun and engaging object lessons.
10. Utilize Resources
I have already given you a few resources for beginning family devotions. A few of my favorite resources are:
- The Bible
- Church family- Pastor, youth director, Sunday school teacher, etc.
- Family devotional books
11. Make It Your Routine
The key to starting a new habit is to make it a part of your routine. Whether you choose to have family devotions daily or as a weekly occurrence, set aside a specific time that works for your family.
If you stick with this set apart time you will find that your family comes to expect this time together.
For example, my two year old daughter has come to understand that there are certain days we go to church. She will often tell us that she is going to church on those days!
12. Ask for Guidance
Pray and ask God for guidance and that the Holy Spirit would fill you with the right words to say during your family devotion time.
If you are still unsure on how to get started with teaching your family about the Bible then seek guidance from your pastor or other spiritual leader.
Family Devotions- Start Today
I hope you found the encouragement and tools you need to start your family devotions today.
There are so many great resources out there that will help you grow as a family and point you to the love of Christ.
I encourage you to begin family devotions with your children soon. It is our job as parents, to teach our children about the love of God.
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”Deuteronomy 6:6-7 KJV