Friday, February 4, 2011

Idea Day: Family Devotions

Every other Friday is going to be an "Idea Day" where we share some different ideas revolving around spiritual growth within our families.  
Our first topic is Family Devotions.

If you aren't already doing family devotions, getting started can seem like a challenge.  Here are a few tips I've gathered from other moms for getting started:
1:  Work family devotions into a time that is already part of your daily routine, for example eating dinner.
2:  Keep the length appropriate to the ages in your family.  As the kids get used to it, you can add more to your devotion time.
3:  Keep your devotion book out in the open, trust me your kids will remind you.  We have a devotion loving 3 year old who has had complete meltdowns waiting for "otion" time.

Here's some ideas of what some of our contributors do:
We use "My Devotions" from Concordia Publishing House and they work great with our 10 year old! They have a journal activity each day at the end of the devotion which is fun! We have always had a song that we sing together, same song, but it is special to us! We also make up a prayer. We take turns, each of us having a responsibility every night and switching them around from night to night in a rotation. For our family of three we have Bible reader, devotion reader, and Prayer leader.

Our devotion time is right before bedtime each night. We use the "Little Visits 365 Family Devotions" series from Concordia Publishing House. Our kids have memory work from Sunday School that we begin with, then we work on learning a "Hymn of the Month." We read the daily devotion from our book, and then end with time for each person to pray. Our one year old is always the last to pray, and we all sing a prayer together for her turn. 

When we first started doing family devotions a few years ago, we were just reading out of Little Visits. If you are just beginning a devotion time with your family don't feel like you have to go all or nothing. Start by reading a short devotion or bible story, or say a bedtime prayer together. "A Child's Book of Prayers," also by Concordia Publishing House, is a good resource for this time too.

We usually do our devotion time at the end of dinner as the bedtimes of our kids are all at different times.  We like devotions that we can work questions into, questions that either our three year old or six year old can answer.  After we read our devotion we have a prayer time where each family member shares "Something they are Thankful to God for" and "Something they want to ask God for."  

Ideas from other moms from facebook:
Cheryl:  We have a little altar area set up that has candles and a cross with the appropriate liturgical color draped on it. We light the candles and follow the service of Evening Prayer in LSB. Caleb enjoys leading the service as we go through it.

Laurie:  We now access the Higher Things daily devotion and my husband reads it to us after dinner. We love it! Age appropriate for Abby, a high schooler, and usually a hymn verse at the end.

Heather: We do Portals of Prayer before breakfast, but then for our prayer we try to mix it up and pray for someone else at the table for the day ahead (sometimes the person across from you, sometimes the person to your left, sometimes for yourself, etc.). At dinner we usually read from one of the kids' Bible Story Books (we like Egermeier's and The Beginner's Bible) and then say a prayer (in the same way as above) for the day just ended.

Now it's your turn...What does your family do for devotion time?    

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