So you want to have daily devotions with your kids… but most days find you…
- scrambling in the morning (and I don’t mean over a skillet of farm fresh eggs)
- trying to remember where you placed your Bible (you own five Bibles, but, you know the story…)
- feeling too guilty to read Scripture verses to your kids after you just lost your temper five minutes ago
- struggling to squeeze in your own quiet time with the Lord, much less read the Bible to your children
- wishing your husband would take the “spiritual leader” role instead of you having to do it
- feeling so overwhelmed with homeschooling and parenting that “have devotions” becomes just another thing on your very long to-do-list
Do any of these ring a bell with you?
If so, we just might have a few things in common. Other than messy pony tails and an obesession with books, that is. 🙂
I have felt, thought, and experienced all of the above.
Call them excuses if you must, but in real life, they feel very much like mountain-size hurdles that separate me from where I long to be- leading my children in the green pastures of righteousness.
When my three oldest children were quite young (a preschooler, toddler, and baby), I came across a challenging article in a magazine (those were the days when we read magazines instead of blogs, you know?).
The author was an older woman (probably in her seventies), and she shared how her family (she homeschooled her six children) would always have a morning and evening devotion.
She cited several Scripture passages where morning and evening prayers are offered to God and explained how that pattern in the Word of God had prompted her husband and her to be diligent about having family devotions with their children… not once a day, but twice.
My first reaction was to wad that magazine into a ball and throw it away as fast as I could!
I already felt guilty as a mom for not being “good enough.” And now I am told by a much wiser, older woman that I should be doing even more? That’s the way it sure sounded to me!
As impossible as the idea felt at first, those challenging words took hold in my heart. My husband was already doing his best to have an evening devotion with our family, so I thought that maybe I could attempt a short morning Bible reading with the kids as well.
Not many days later, I found myself seated at the breakfast table with my three young children, reading a short passage from God’s Word.
Nothing amazing happened.
My little ones didn’t fall to the (sticky) floor and begin singing, “Into My Heart.”
I didn’t feel tingles or get goose bumps.
No angelic being descended from the clouds to tell me what a faithful and holy mother I was.
In fact, I sat and watched my hungry little munchkins make the usual mess with their oatmeal and muffins.
As mundane and “unspiritual” as it felt to me, something clicked in my heart that this mattered. I dared to believe that something WAS happening that I couldn’t see, that something WOULD happen in my children’s hearts if I just kept being faithful.
That small start planted a desire in my heart that has continued to grow over the years. Some seasons of motherhood, I’ve purposed to read one Psalm in the morning to my kids before school. Other times, we’ve worked on memorizing New Testament chapters.
Over the past year, we’ve been working through the devotion book, Our 24 Family Ways, by Clay and Sally Clarkson.
At every point in my life as a mom, it has been a step of faith to have devotions with my kids. Why?
Because I’m not always sure they’re “getting it.”
Because sometimes they fight and fuss and whine… during devotions.
Because sometimes I have fussed and whined… during devotions.
Because some days I just don’t feel like it.
But I try to be faithful. Not just to mark “have devotions with the kids” off my to-do-list, but because I want to do at least two things for my young children-
- educate their minds about the ways of God and His Word
- cultivate fertile ground for the Holy Spirit to grow fruits of righteousness in their hearts and lives
None of that is going to happen by accident. It takes effort, faithfulness, and much patience.
And none of that is going to happen because I am such a holy mom. Because I’m not.
I make mistakes. I get grouchy. Some days, we have to just start over and do Take Two.
I’m not counting on my saintliness to drive my kids toward Christ, because, as much as I love Him and want to be a faithful mom, I’m desperately flawed.
I am counting on the power of the Spirit of God to woo my children to Jesus Christ and make a difference in their lives, just as He does in mine.
That’s why I have devotions with my kids.