As anyone knows who has practiced daily devotions themselves knows there are times that things get dry – kids will see this as boring and “what is the point?”. At times like this you wonder if God is really listening, you feel like you’ve read it all before and nothing comes to you as fresh.
If our attitude is one of pushing them through to maturity then we may well show disappointment and frustration that they are feeling like this. This is a good time to remember that your children are people – just like you are people – and to remember your own challenges going through these spiritually dry times.
At times like this we have
- Prayed with the child and certainly prayed ourselves for wisdom.
- Have the child come to you after their time with God, and discuss what they read and learnt, and pray together.
- Does your child know how to pray by himself – does he know how to adore, confess, and give thanks or does he only know how to ask?
- Go back to having personal QT together, maybe giving them time to Respond privately or maybe not
- Encourage them to spend time listening to worship music as a part of their devotional time. Suggest that they listen to the words and respond accordingly.
- Give them a passage to memorise – more than a verse – a passage that you think will help them to focus on who God is.
- We have often changed the format the child was following. This may mean buying a new devotional or encouraging them to have a different focus. Often the change that is needed is less knowledge about God and more heart felt love towards him. This is indeed a great trap to fall into – we must keep our eyes on our love for God rather than our desire to know the Bible.
There is a trend these days to make everything fun for our children. I don’t have a problem with this – it has its place. Little children do respond to hands on, bright colours and exciting voice tones etc. I can appreciate that what I am laying out as training for devotions may seem very unexciting. You need to do what fits right with your own style of teaching your children, as well as the needs of your individual children. But we need to keep in mind what is the goal of this timeslot in our family life. For our family it is to focus on the Word of God and our heart response to God. It is about developing a habit of giving time to God as principle we live our life by. There are other times in our family life that we do fun activities around the Word of God. We must keep our eyes on our goal for this time.
At all times handle your children with grace and love, modelling our Heavenly Father’s responses to us.