Do you want to learn how to have a family devotional? Or maybe you just need some fresh family devotional ideas because your family Bible study is feeling a little stale? No matter what the case, family devotions are an important part of raising godly kids.
Because your children need to be trained in how to study the Bible so that they can learn how to dig deep into God’s Word to find the truths in store for them.
A family devotional doesn’t have to be complicated, but it definitely should be consistent. So let’s talk about some basic steps, tips, and ideas that you can use to have a family devotional with your kids.
Decide on when, how frequently, and how long your family devotional will be
The first thing you’ll want to decide on as you establish how to have a family devotional as part of your everyday life is when, how frequently, and how long you will have the devotional with your family.
When deciding on what day and time will work for you and your family, sit down and talk to your husband and children, and pull out your planners and schedules to make sure you pick a time that you will be able to be consistent with. Consistency is really important when it comes to family devotions.
As far as how frequently, I would suggest doing something every day. Maybe you can’t go all-out with the planning and activities every day because of your schedule. But at the very least plan something smaller for most days, and then something bigger one day each week. But no matter what, decide ahead of time how frequently you plan to have your family devotional throughout the week.
And lastly, you’ll want to consider how long your family Bible study will be. This will greatly depend on your own family. Are your children mostly young or older? How many children do you have? Is their attention span good? Etc. But a general rule of thumb is about 30 minutes or so. If all of your children are younger, then a little less time than that might be better. Or if they are all older then a longer family Bible study might work great.
So before moving forward with any other family devotional planning, be sure to decide on these three things: when, how frequently, and how long.
Designate a special place for your family Bible study
Next, as you’re planning your family devotional time think about where you want to have your family devotions. There is no right or wrong answer here. But as I’ve stressed before, consistency is key here.
Pick somewhere in your home that is comfortable for everyone in your family and preferably free of most distractions. Or make it a place that you all are sure to be gathered together for a time each day — like the dinner table.
There will be times when you can step outside of your typical family devotional space — like when it’s a beautiful day outside and you want to take your family devotions out there. But for the most part try to keep where you have your family Bible study in the same place. This way, when you start prepping and pulling everything out for this special time your children will learn how to get in the right mindset.
Set up a schedule/routine for your family devotions
You might notice that I’ve been greatly stressing having consistency with your family devotional. This is because children typically thrive best when they have a routine and schedule that they can rely on. It helps to reduce their stress, learn good habits, and behave more according to what you’re desiring for them. And family Bible study time is no different.
When you’re thinking about a schedule/routine for your family devotional, consider making it age-appropriate and reasonable for your family. If your children are all under four, then planning to read directly from the Bible for 15 minutes of your 30 minute time block with no talking allowed is probably going to leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed.
And while in the midst of your family Bible study, remain flexible with this schedule. If a child seems drawn to a certain part of your study, don’t hesitate to go down that rabbit hole in lieu of the schedule. Or if the kids are having a hard time paying attention, then read a shorter passage before getting to the songs and activities. Having a set schedule is good for a framework. But you’ll still need to remain flexible and reasonable with what you’re expecting out of your children.
Plan out your family devotional ideas ahead of time
After you’ve really worked out the logistics of when and where to have your family devotional, it’s time to do some planning. This can look different depending on what you choose to do during your family Bible study time. But no matter what, it’s good to have a plan! And here’s why…
First, having a plan is a signal to your children of how important this is to you. When you have a plan your children can see that this is something serious enough that you’ve put a lot of work into it. They might not openly notice this, but it will affect them to see this.
Another reason you want to make sure you plan out your family devotional ideas is because it will keep you from scrambling around at the last minute trying to figure out what you’re doing. You don’t want to spend the entire time you’ve set aside for your devotional with the planning and hunting down ideas. This will eat into your special time as a family and your kids will get bored so easily.
So make a plan. Depending on the frequency that you’re going to go with, I’d recommend planning out at least two weeks, if not a whole month of ideas. If you’re not sure on what exactly to do or to study, then make a plan to work through a certain pre-written family devotional! Which I’ll be talking about more in a bit.
And here are some beautiful Christian planners that can help you as you plan out your family devotional time:
Gather and prepare the family devotional materials you need
Next you’ll want to gather up all the materials you’ll need to actually do your family devotional. Put together a special basket or area to keep all the materials for your family devotions in.
If you’ve gone with a pre-written family devotional then look through it to see if there are any materials you need for the coming week. If you have the time, think about expanding on any ideas within the devotional you chose to help your children better grasp the concept and have fun with it.
Every family devotional will be different, but here’s some ideas of things you’ll want to include in your special family Bible study kit:
- Family Bible (not a children’s Bible in this case)
- Family Devotional Book(s)
- Worship songs that go with your devotional for the day
- Games that go with your devotional for the day
- Crafts that go with your devotional for the day
- Any other activities that will expand upon the Biblical concept you’ll be exploring
There’s no set-in-stone way to do your family devotions. But these things will help to equip you with the tools you need to make Bible study time with the family fun and engaging for your children of all ages.
Here are some ideas for things to gather for your family devotional time:
Set reasonable expectations for your family devotions
I touched on this a bit when I was talking about creating a schedule/routine for your family Bible study time. But I think it warrants its own section. Because as parents (and in particular moms), it can be really easy to get discouraged when things don’t go perfectly the way that you’ve planned.
You plan and prepare and put your whole heart into this whole family devotional thing. And then you find that your children are distracted and uninterested, and maybe even your husband isn’t all that into like you are.
But I want to encourage you to keep on trying. Be willing to make adjustments where things aren’t working and push through the initial struggle you might come up against. Try to make it as fun as possible for your family so that they look forward to it. And really try not to nag and hound them if they aren’t meeting your initial expectations.
As long as you’re trying. As long as you’re putting in the effort then there will be things that stick. And if you stay consistent with it and try to mix a bit of fun into it, then your family will come on board with you eventually. Just give them grace and show them the love of Jesus as you prepare this special family devotional time with them.
Now that you know how to have a family devotional, get started today!
Getting started can be the hardest part sometimes. But you’re here and you’re still reading this post. You want to have this special time with your family. Because you know that having family Bible studies are important for your children and for your family to be strong in the faith.
So don’t hold out because you don’t have everything perfect. Start planning today so you can get started having regular family devotions. Pray about it. And do the best that you can to create a time that is immersed with the love of God and the joy of coming together as a family to get to know Him better.
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