by Meghean Warner
Our family has struggled with night time devotions since my daughters were born. My husband and I both work, and sometimes by 7 p.m. Netflix seems much more appealing than doing a nightly devotional with our girls.
In fact, even the word devotional can at times feel like a stretch. Perhaps nightly “circus” or “hulabaloo” would be more appropriate. Sometimes I wonder if my girls (aged 3 and 6) are sneaking a Red Bull in before bed. When my husband and I are ready to turn down, they are ready to turn up.
However, I have stumbled across a way to channel my daughters’ nighttime energy into our nightly devotion. We usually start out with just a fun kid’s book or two, and then we move on to a Bible Story. My personal favorite right now is the Jesus Storybook Bible.
After that, we then move on to scripture memory. A year ago the thought of memorizing scripture with my kids would have seemed daunting, but now it has become a fun routine. We choose a simple verse, like Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I have discovered that hand motions make all the difference! We point to our eyeball for “I,” and we point to the sky for Christ, and we flex our muscles for “strengthens me.”
Reciting scripture in a fun way helps our kids have fun memorizing it. The girls pick up the verses in about two weeks, and then they can recite them on their own. We have also started saying the Lord’s Prayer every night along with individual prayers. With young kids, repetition and routine is key.
Family devotions take about 10 to 15 minutes of our day, but I am slowly realizing it is the most important part of our day. Not every night is smooth, and we have skipped nights here and there. There are plenty of frustrating moments and it can be easy to feel defeated. (Sometimes, I’m not even sure if my girls are paying attention.) However, the payoff is great. It is a way to arm our kids with the word of God, and honestly, it helps me learn it too!
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