Creative Family Devotions"Bring God into everyday conversation and make Him a part of your everyday family life."
My family is extremely busy. Between homeschooling three kids, my husband’s two jobs, my job, two of our kids’ jobs and extra-curricular activities, it’s almost impossible to have everyone home at the same time long enough to have devotions together as a family. I felt we were lacking as parents because we weren’t having devotions every night after dinner as I felt we should be. I would have my devotions and my husband would have his devotions, but it was always separate. It was necessary to come up with a way to keep everyone in the Word and be creative about it by talking about God, but it had to be natural as well. We didn’t want to make it a forced issue where the kids roll their eyes at us behind our backs when we started with the same catch phrase every time. We wanted them to want to hear about God.
There are many families today that are in the same predicament. Families have become busier and busier. If eliminating things from your schedule is not really an option for you, then you also need to get creative about bringing God into everyday conversation and making Him a part of your everyday family life. Doing this can have a great impact on you and your family. Need ideas for how to do that?
Speak of the beauty of God’s creation when things come up.
For example, rainbows beg for you to tell the story of Noah and God’s promise. This can also lead to discussion on many of God’s other promises. Storms can be a witness to God’s power.
Sing songs of praise when working.
Either sing together or play music. We often do this while cleaning the house. Explain to your kids that we can praise God no matter what. Allow them to see you praising God even when things may not be perfect in your home.
Memorize verses together.
Post a verse of the week on the fridge along with a chart with everyone’s name on it. Family members can recite the verses to each other and sign off on the cart.
Speak to your kids where they are.
Are your teenagers worried about their appearance? Talk to them using specific Bible passages that speak about this. Are your kids of dating age? Show them from God’s Word what is right before hearts are broken.
Pushing boundaries is a part of the lives of all young people.
They like to push the limits of your rules. Are they interested in tattoos or drinking? Have them search the Scriptures for themselves. This is God talking, not you, so they can’t argue with it. Have them report back to you on their findings with the Scripture passages. This is an activity more for older kids who can do some research on their own.
News items are a great way to bring God into the conversation.
There are so many things that happen on a daily basis that come straight from the Bible. After the news one night when you see something fitting, pull out your Bible and show your children from the Word of God exactly what is happening in the world. Worldwide events can be physical, environmental, or spiritual.
How has God been evident in your life?
Tell your kids those stories. There are many times when I have been able to share something with my kids that really touches their hearts. This is what makes God real to them and opens their eyes to see where God might be at work in their lives as well.
Keep it simple.
You don’t want to bore your kids with long dissertations on passages of Scripture. Show them God at work in your life and how it applies to them.
Encourage them to seek God’s face.
My oldest daughter had some decisions she had to make. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t make those decisions for her. I encouraged her to pray and talk to God about it. When she came back to me later with the answer I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but then God taught me a lesson when He gave her definite confirmation of His answer. We both learned from that one!
Be an example.
Let them see you praying, reading your Bible and memorizing Scripture. There is no better teacher than living by example. Buy them age-appropriate devotional books that they can read and enjoy on their own time. Encourage them to share with you what they have learned.
Deuteronomy 6 shows God telling the Israelites to not let their children forget how far they’ve come and to obey the laws He set for them. We may not follow Jewish laws, but the concept is the same. Don’t beat yourself up if your family is not one of those families that have devotions every night at a set time. I think if you asked around, you would find families like yours all around you. Instead, find ways to bring God into your household in a way that your family needs. Make Him real and make Him an important part of all your lives.
Ruth O’Neil is from upstate New York and attended Houghton College. She has been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, publishing hundreds of articles in dozens of publications. Ruth spends her spare time quilting, scrapbooking and camping with her family.