The memory is clear as day….I came out of my bedroom, and I saw her….sitting in the living room with her Bible in her lap.
That was a scene I saw consistently when I was growing up – my mom having her personal devotion time with the Lord. That was also a major factor in helping me to develop a consistent devotion time.
Now I’m the mom.
How can I help my own children to have their personal devotions?
1. Be the example
I know – life gets busy….There are diapers to change, hungry mouths to feed, kids to take to ball practice or lessons, hungry mouths to feed again….the list goes on and on….but we need to be learning and growing….and being the example.
Even if some days it’s just getting a little nugget from His Word while nursing a hungry baby, grab that nugget to meditate on through the day.
If consistency in devotions is something you struggle with, find an accountability partner who will check up on you.
2. Help your children set up a time
In our home, we have always done ours in the morning before breakfast, and we have trained our children to also do theirs in the morning.
What works for you? Before breakfast? After breakfast? After school? After supper? Find a time that works for your family, and help your children to make it a habit to have their devotions at that time.
3. Give your children the proper tools
Our church uses the FrontLine program on Wednesday nights during the school year. This program provides journals for the children that help them to daily get in the Word and review the week’s lesson. This was a wonderful tool for helping my children get into the routine of daily devotions.
There are many other helpful resources. Here are some of our favorites:
- The Early Reader’s Bible by V. Gilbert Beers *
- This is a great book for children starting to read on their own because it contains pictures and easy to read Bible stories. I love that it also includes “Something to Ask” and “Something to Do” sections to get the children thinking about and applying what they read.
- Primary Bible Reader – A Beka Book
- Do you want your children to read straight from the Bible? This contains excerpts from the KJV Bible, and they are broken down into little bite size sections for your child. There are no questions in this book, but my daughter loved being able to read sections of the Bible that she could understand.
- One Year Book of Devotions for Kids (also Boys, Girls) by Tyndale Kids *
- With a devotion for each day of the year, this book provides a suggested Bible passage for your child to read from his own Bible, a story to go along with the Bible reading, application questions, and a memory verse. The application section is great in helping children to think through what they read and to make necessary changes in their own lives.
- Day By Day Devotions by Karyn Henley – Tyndale Kids *
- This book is broken down into fifty-two weeks with five devotions in each week. Each week starts with a key verse and a list of key points for the week. Then each day has a retelling of a Scripture passage, which your child can read in his own Bible if he wants, comments about the Bible story, questions, and a prayer. Each week ends with some suggested fun activities to do in order to help reinforce what was learned during the week.
- Kids’ Bible Reading Plans
- If your child is ready to dig into the Word on his own, these reading plans for Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, and Proverbs will help break the Scripture into bite size chunks for him. The reading plans can be printed out on one page which contains boxes with the Scripture reference for the passage to be read each day. Your child can then color, stamp or check off the box once it is completed.
- As your child reads, have him answer the following questions:
- What did I learn about God?
- What do I need to change or do?
- SOAP Bible study method printable
- Scripture – Write the Bible passage reference and a focus verse
- Observation – Write a few observations. What is God teaching you?
- Application – How can you apply the passage?
- Prayer – What do you need to pray about now?
- 5 Finger Prayer Sheet
- What a great printable to help us teach our children to use each finger as a reminder for who we need to pray for.
- I would also use the palm of the hand to remind them that we need to praise Him when we pray too!
4. Follow their progress
Check in on your child from time to time to see how they’re doing. Our family sets aside our Saturday family devotions time for each family member to share something that they learned during their personal Bible study time. It’s often encouraging to hear them discover applications that we may have missed.
I’m so thankful for a mom who modeled the importance of a quiet time with God.
Now it’s my turn.
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Do you remember anything your parents did to encourage your personal devotions? What ideas do you have to train your children to study the Bible for themselves? Share your thoughts in the comments.