Are you a mother with a desire to raise her children to love God and know His Word? To make sure that they have a strong foundation as adults, so that they won’t walk away from God the moment they move out of your home? If this is something that is important to you, devotions with your children everyday is the best place to start.
When you start children off early reading the Bible and studying why it’s important to listen to what God says, we are training them up to have wisdom and understanding.
Often times, when we are told to do something, if we don’t understand the “why”, we are more likely not to follow as well.
When children are taught why God says yes or no to a situation they are in, they are more likely to put His Word into their hearts. Devotions are a way of studying the Bible and applying it into our daily lives.
When children see how verses can match up with what they’re going through at the time, they will learn early that whatever they’re going through is no match against God and His promises.
They will learn to trust God at an early age and not fall away when they become adults. They will have many years of practicing how to trust God and have faith in His promises.
This will be second nature to them when they are off on their own.
So Where Do You Start?
You now know the importance of why your children should be starting devotions at as early an age as possible. Now, where do you get started?
Picking The Time Of Day For Devotions With Your Children
What time of day does everyone pay attention best? If you’re not sure, I recommend the morning. God’s blessings renew every morning, so why not learn more about Him when His blessings are fresh?
Something that I’ve done in the past has been devotions when they wake up and we’re snuggling together.
Another time that I have done devotions is at the breakfast table. Sometimes children pay attention when they have something else to do while listening. So while they’re eating, I will read to them.
What Reading Should You Choose?
Depending on how old they are, there are a number of devotional sources available to you. The amount of time you spend will also dictate how old your children are.
Toddler Age –
When my kids where toddler age, we would snuggle together and read out of their children’s Bible. We’d look at the pictures and I’d tell them a little about the story.
Perhaps even the lessons the characters learned compares to what your child might be going through at the time.
You could say to your child, “God made sure that birds always have enough to eat, and since He loves you more than a bird, He will always make sure you have more than enough to eat all the time.”
The same can be said about the beauty in flowers and how He loves us more than flowers.
Preschool Age –
There are also many children’s devotional books like The One Year Devotions For Preschoolers. This is one that my kids and I used for a couple of years. We continued to use it year after year until my oldest was old enough for something more advanced.
**A good rule of thumb to knowing when to move on to your next study: wait until the oldest is ready to move on. All of the younger children will follow suit and learn at the oldest child’s level.
Grade School Age –
Currently, my children and I still do devotions during breakfast time. However, we don’t use a particular devotional book. Now that my oldest is in grade school, I read two chapters from the Bible.
First, I read a chapter of Proverbs that matches the date (ex. the 12th of the month we read Proverbs 12). The second chapter is in one of the Gospels (we go in order).
So every morning, they get words of wisdom and words from Jesus. My saying is, “Wisdom and Jesus starts the day in a good way!”. By reading this, I’m also bringing their current situations in to compare either with Proverbs or Jesus’ words.
I show them that the Bible is still very relevant to what they might be going through. or how God is taking care of them through His words in the Bible.
My own Bible is being read during this time. But if you do this when they are not eating, they can be looking at their own Bibles while you read.
JR/High School Age –
If your oldest is in the Jr High / High School range, why not have them lead devotions for the younger siblings? This will allow them the opportunity to further their study of the Bible by putting together their own devotional for the younger kids.
They learn from the Bible when they teach it.
Stay Consistent In Devotions With Your Children
There will be days when you don’e feel like doing anything. There may also be days when your kids fight you and say that they don’t want to do devotions that day. Those are your feelings talking.
God has given us the beautiful gift of having feelings, but often they can betray you. Just because you don’t feel like spending time in the Bible, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. “While feelings are wonderful servants, they make terrible gods”.
Don’t give into them. Just because you or the kids don’t feel happy doing devotions, doesn’t mean that God still won’t work through what you learn.
Psalm 119:10-11 says, “I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (NLT).
John 15:7 says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (NIV).
Now you see why it is so important to do devotions with your children every day. Not only will you be introducing the importance of God’s Word in their lives but how scripture is moving in their lives on a daily basis.
When you introduce them to the Bible early on, it will give them more time to make it a habit to lean on God first when struggles come.
When they have God’s Word in their hearts, they will have the wisdom and understanding to face trials as adults, instead of turning to the world to know what to do.
Stay consistent with them, even when it’s hard. They will reap the benefits of God’s Word in their hearts and you can be sure of God’s promises for them.