"Are we done yet, dad?" "Can I get up?" "Is this it?" "I am thirsty, can I get a drink?" "Can I use the bathroom?" These are some of the questions and responses that I get from my children as we have our family devotion time. This experience is quite humbling and at times very humorous, but we believe it to be an important part in our family life. I would encourage all us to carve out time at least weekly where we sit down as a family and read the Bible, make age-appropriate application, pray and sing together as an intricate part of family life. No, this is not the method above all methods to get our children to turn out right. Our hope is NOT in a method (and I need to be reminded of this often), but it is in God! Family devotions is one of the means that God has given us to know and love Him, but it is not the end. We want our children to get God, NOT just turn out right!
Here is what the Drury's do, not that it happens this way every week and don't get any unrealistic expectations where dad is sitting in the chair and all four boys are sitting at his feet soaking it all in - we are a real family! But here is our plan.
1. Dinner time.
We ask questions about their day at school and discuss the question and verse for the month (we get this out of My First Book).
2. Bed time.
With our youngest son (3), we read The Big Picture Story Bible or something similar. Older boys (7 and 10) we are reading through Luke. Usually, I will read about a paragraph since the chapters are so long, discuss it with them briefly and then pray with them. We just got done reading 1 and 2 Samuel which they loved due to the battles, blood and swords!
3. Family Night.
We try to do this weekly. The night is a combination of fun, sometimes playing Wii, board game, family football, etc. and a specific study - where we study a verse or passage, make application, sing and pray together. These are short, with high involvement as we try to make them enjoyable for our kids. Here is what we are doing right now.
We are always adjusting and evaluating. As our children get older there will be more changes, but I would encourage you to do something with your kids. We only have them in our homes for a very short time. May we, by the grace of God, use this time wisely.