Teaching Children to Have Devotional Time
We began our school year two weeks ago and with that came something new: teaching Jonathan to have his own devotional time first thing in the morning.
Explain the Reason
I started by explaining to Jonathan that because he was a Christ-follower and getting older, it was time for him to start taking control of his spiritual life. We talked about how God wants to spend time with us and how it's good to do that first thing in the morning if possible.
Lay Out the Ground Rules
First thing in the morning, Jonathan is to get his Bible and his journal and find a place to sit. He usually chooses to sit on the couch in the living room. We usually read before breakfast, but depending on the time and plan for the day, I may let him have breakfast first.
The point is to make devotions a priority in our day before getting side tracked onto something else.
Decide What to Read
I let Jonathan choose the book of the Bible that he wanted to read first. He chose to start with Genesis. He wants to read straight through the Bible. We decided on one chapter per day out of his NIV Bible that was made into a Child Training Bible.
You could chose a longer portion of scripture, a topic, or use a Children's Bible.
Find a Way to Apply
Jonathan seems to retain what he writes, so I decide to make a simple primary-lined journal that Jonathan could write in after he reads. We decided on three things that he could write in his journal:
- Something he learned.
- A question.
- Copy a verse.
If you have a child who is not a writer (whatever their age), you could have them draw pictures, narrate to you, act out the story or whatever activity would help them retain what they learned.
We're in our third week of this little experiment and so far it is working very well. Jonathan even told me that I better hurry up and make an Exodus journal for him because he's going to need it soon! It was interesting to me that he chooses to write a question most often. His questions have prompted some very interesting discussions. He usually chooses to save his questions for Daddy at dinner time.
Get the Bible Reading Journal to so your kids have a place to record their journaling. Read more here.
Get a free printable ebooklet to help you teach your kids to have their own devotional time using the form below.