Monday, April 27, 2009

Family Devotion Time - Why, When, How & More

Each Monday, we will endeavour to post a family devotion which you may use to share with your family. One of Calvary Chapel Sunday School's goals is to assist you, as parents to share God's Word with your children.
In this post, I would like to share with you the importance of setting time aside to spend with your family in God's precious Word. As a teenager, I remember my own family coming together after dinner time. The television was turned off, the phone was taken off the hook and we gathered in the lounge room. We took it in turns (parents & children) in preparing a short study on a topic or a portion of scripture. I remember these times! Not only did we learn more from God's Word, but it was a time that brought our family together. If this is not something you are familiar with it, I encourage you to try it! If you already set aside time together as a family for this purpose, then I pray the Family Devotion Time posts will be of assistance to you.

Why Have A Family Devotion Time?

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says 'And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when you risest up.' As parents we have direction from God's Word to share this treasure with our children. It is a commandment!
A purposely set aside time such as a Family Devotion Time will bring those in your house closer to God's Word and will, in part, fulfill our duty to diligently teach our children.

God's Word is life, strength, direction, encouragement, counsil, wonderful, truth, wisdom, freedom, comfort, good and so much more!

Make it a routine. A routine does not take long to create. Be consistent and committed. The benefits will be worth the time taken. You may just start with one night a week and slowly it may even become something that is done regularly after the family evening meal. Keep it realistic - your family may only have one or two evenings a week when everyone is together. Begin slowly and see where it takes you!

Where To Have Family Devotion Time
A family devotion time can be done any time and any where. I may be helpful however, to have a specific place to hold it - the dining room table, the lounge room, an area that is free from distractions. This may also help to create a sense of routine.

Who Can Lead The Family Devotion Time
Anyone! Any family member, 'new' or 'old' Christians! As mentioned earlier, if your children are older, let them lead the whole devotion. If they are younger, you may like to ask them to contribute by sharing a testimony or choosing a song to sing together. As parents you may feel like you are not knowledgable enough about God's Word. Start where you are at. You will grow along with your family. James 1:5 says 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him.'

What Do I Do In A Family Devotion Time
The Family Devotion Time can be structured any way you like. The following are suggestions only.

You may like to simply read portions of scripture together. Daniel 1 - 6 is a good place to start, or maybe the life of Joseph in Genesis 40 - 47. Simple read a portion of scripture and discuss what happened in the story, or what it means to each member of the family.
Your study could take the sturcture of a topical study. Using the bible as the centre, choose a topic such as God's Love, or Kindness and discuss what God desires and how we can show these characteristics. Include short biographies of missionaries or other inspirational people. Choose to study Proverbs or the Gospels.
You could take an evening to review the teaching from the previous Sunday Church Service or Sunday School lessons.
Make it relevant and age appropriate. Even young babies and toddlers can be a part of your Family Devotion Time!

Take some time to pray together. Praise God for great things He has done for you, ask if your children have anything/anyone they would like to pray for.

Set challenges for the week. Choose scriptures to memorise. Help children to begin to learn the verses by playing some games.

Sing together - let different members choose the songs or sing to CD's.

Give it a go! See what God will do in your Family Devotion Time!

If you have any other ideas, questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the 'Comment section' below.


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