I like the nighttime—I always have—and while it isn’t always the best part of my day, it usually is. This is when I get to put my children to bed. It’s not that I want to get rid of them or I am tired of them. What I like about putting my children to bed is the devotional time I have with them as they are going to sleep. Sometimes my day has been difficult and stressful. Sometimes my children have caused those difficulties and stress, but when we sing and study God’s Word together, it helps to ease my tension. It’s fun and it’s good for my relationship with them.
Sometimes we have devotionals at the couch, but usually they are in bed, and I sit in the hall outside both their rooms. After the devotional, I like to read to them (we have read the Prydain Chronicles, and the Chronicles of Narnia, and currently we are reading through Treasue Island). Most of my children fall asleep listening to my voice. It is a special time, and after it is all done, then I get to spend time with my wife. My nerves are settled, any frustrations I had are usually gone, and I can just enjoy my time with her. Eventually, I get to go to bed after a long day. Nights like this help me to look at my life and realize just how good God has been to me. Regular devotionals are good for establishing faith and grounding children in God’s Word, but they are also good for me and for my relationship with my wife and children.
I urge you to have times like this in your life with your family. Devotionals don’t have to be complicated. Sing a few songs—especially songs that help to memorize Scripture. Read a chapter or a story from the Bible and be ready to answer any questions they might have (or commit to finding the answer). Pray with them. Just doing these activities will go a long way to helping your children in their faith. Of course, you can go deeper, and you should as you get used to doing devotionals and as your children grow older and mature in their faith and understanding.
There are many good devotional books and resources that can help you with family devotionals:
- The Kidsing Program by Glenn Colley (not primarily targeted towards home devotionals but definitely works well.
- Kaio Publications produces a series of family devotionals.
- Little Acorn Kids also has several good devotional books
by Jeremy Sprouse
Jeremy Sprouse has been married to Erynn since 1999. They have six children. Jeremy preaches for the Patrick St. Church of Christ in Dublin, TX and is the author of To Train Up a Knight.