6 Tips For Family Devotion Time

Published on 17 December 2023 at 20:05

Family devotion time is my favorite time of day.  It's the most important thing we do as a family!  Going to the park with your kids is wonderful, playing games together as a family creates great memories, but teaching your kids about how awesome God is, is the only thing that you will do that has eternal consequences.  And this is certainly not limited to evening devotion time!  Teaching your kids about God happens all day long.  God reminds us,
"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."  Deuteronomy 6:6-7


 When you see something beautiful outside, you can talk about the amazing things that God made just for us.  When your kids come to you with tough questions, you certainly answer them with Bible passages and Bible concepts.  You can play Christian music while you are cleaning the house and make God a regular part of your conversation.


And then when we reach the end of our day, it's only natural to pause and reflect together on the greatness of our God.  Not everyone grew up having family devotion time, though, so some might be wondering where to start.  Or you might just need some fresh ideas.   I compiled a list of my favorite devotion tips for kids.  I hope you can find some value in them and start a routine that you will all cherish. 


1. Use devotion as a part of the bedtime routine.  It's so important for adults and children alike to have a bedtime routine.  Sleep Foundation says that "A bedtime routine can help create habits that tell your brain it is time to get ready for bed."  Devotion is a great way to connect at the end of a busy day with all of your kids in a very personal way.  And more importantly, it's a time to gather around the Word of God and grow together in grace.


2. Don't dumb down the language for younger children.  Every English Language Arts teacher will tell you how vitally important it is for kids to learn as much vocabulary as possible at a young age.  Why not include Bible vocabulary?  There is no reason that kids can't understand Bible concepts such as Grace, Salvation, and Redemption.  Just make sure you explain these words in an easy to understand way.  (Let me know if you want a post on explaining Bible words to young children.)  You don't have to call Jesus' disciples, his friends.  Just call them disciples, and tell your kids that a disciple is a follower.  They are smart and they soak things up like a sponge.  Do them a favor and teach them the Bible words.


3. Get your kids in the Bible as soon as possible.  By the end of second grade most children are totally capable of reading straight out of the Bible.  Of course, you'll want to start with easier sections of the Bible.  Narrative books are a good place to start.  Examples of narrative books include: Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts.  Our children get so excited when they have their very own Bibles and can take their turn reading a couple of verses.  


4. Have devotion with all ages together.  Aim for the level of the older children.  This will be the greatest benefit for the older children, and the younger children will soak up more than you think.  Just make sure to take the time to explain things to the younger ones.  If you have a big spread of ages, still have family devotion time all together at the level of the older children.  This will provide a time for the real young children to practice sitting for church and they will glean more than you think from the devotion.  Then before the little ones go to bed, read a Bible story out of a Bible story book at their level.  It's important that they get those simple Bible stories and become engaged with the stories on their level.


5. Make it interactive.  Kids learn more if they are actively involved.  For the younger kids that means acting out the Bible story or singing action Bible songs.  They will remember so much more if they get to be active in the learning.  For the older kids this means having discussions.  Don't just read through a devotion and call it good.  Ask questions and encourage a conversation.  Try to apply the material to your children where they are now, and talk about things that they will encounter in the next five or so years.


6. Memorize Bible passages and hymns.  If kids memorize Bible passages and hymns, they will have those passages and hymns with them their entire life.  I could write a whole post on the benefits of memorization.  But for now, I'll just say, make sure they memorize.  It will be a lifelong treasure chest of Jesus in their memories.  Try singing a verse of a bedtime hymn or song every night for a week.  It's amazing how fast children pick things up.  If singing is not your cup of tea, find some youtube videos of evening hymns and sing along with them.  Singing Christian songs is invaluable for your children.


Finally, don't get discouraged if family devotion time doesn't look like you think it should.  You probably won't have all the kids sitting attentively at your feet every night.  Just try to keep it engaging and make sure they know that Jesus died on the cross to take away their sins.  I'm not saying that it's easy, and I'm not saying that we do a perfect job at it either.  But it's important.  And like most things that are important, it's hard.  But it's so worth the effort!


I hope this gives you some inspiration for your evening devotions.  I'd love to keep the conversation going and learn your favorite devotion tips!  Please comment with your thoughts and suggestions. 

Blessings on shepherding God's little lambs!

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Jennifer Schaller
7 months ago

I second this message 100%!! I strongly regret not being consistent with devotions, because we all grew so much closer to each other while growing in our faith. Thank you for the encouragement as well as the upcoming material to use which makes starting pretty effortless! God bless your efforts

7 months ago

Thank you so much for this comment! I pray that this can be beneficial to many families! Life has so many ebbs and flows. That why we need to keep encouraging one another to set our hands to the plow and keep pressing forward to the prize. I am sure your life was lived in a devotional way even if you missed a few evening devotion times in the past. Blessings on your family discipleship!

7 months ago

This is perfect! As parents there are so many things we are told are important for our kids wellbeing, success, and physical and mental health. It can be overwhelming trying to fit all the "most important" things in to our kids lives. But when we take a moment to realize that our family devotion time, and being in God's word together is the most important and beneficial thing we do with them all day it becomes much easier to prioritize. I love these tips, adding it to the bedtime routine has worked very well for us. An interactive piece for little ones can be as easy as having a picture to go with the Bible story or devotion to help them stay engaged and ask questions about what you are reading to them.

7 months ago

I agree! It's amazing how many things the world makes us feel are "necessary." And it's ironic that all of the "necessary" things can so easily crowd out the only thing that is actually needful! Thankyou for the comment about using pictures and questions to keep it interactive! Absolutely! Love that!

7 months ago

I would love a post about explaining Bible terms and language to young children!

7 months ago

I'll add it to my list!