Family Devotions

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    As a divorced mom, this is something I need to set up. We did mini-devotions when they were little. Then we homeschooled, and there really was no need to set down a time and specific lessons apart from that, because it was simply part of what we went through in our daily lives...sitting down and learning about everything from a Christian standpoint. Then they were in private school, and learning there.

    Now they're all going to be in public schools. My plan was to get more involved in our church as circumstances make that possible now, but gas prices are a barrier and instead of getting more involved, we're getting much less involved.

    So I'm feeling very strongly led to start a set time of devotions as they very much need more spiritual guidance than they're getting at the moment, and this problem will only increase once the school year starts.

    Where do I start though? There's so much else going on right now that I'm really needing some help and advice on where to even begin. The girls are 11,12, and 13, but at very different stages spiritually. The oldest CRAVES more of the scriptures and is very open to learning. The middle one has been deeply hurt in her life twice now with rejection and seems to be shying away from trusting anything, and is almost bitter. The youngest is still open to most anything and enjoys family time like devotions would bring.

    That has me wondering how to approach it. I know what the middle one is feeling, and I know that at this point in her life, it would be easy for her to reject faith in Christ if it's forced on her, and I don't want to do that. But if I give her a choice, she'll go off and read rather than join us.

    So I need advice on not only what I mentioned previously, but on how to include her in a way that won't turn her off, while still providing the depth the oldest one needs and in a way that the youngest one won't be overwhelmed by.

    I'll appreciate anything you have to offer!
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    I would suggest a good catechism. We use this one http://www.graceandtruthbooks.com/listdetails.asp?ID=758

    Catechisms are good because they are questions, with biblical answers and Scripture to look up together. They also touch on many fundamental issues. My children are 10 and 8 who engage in the discussion. My other children are too small, being 5, 3, and 7 months so their attention span is small. :laugh:

    Here is an example of it http://www.grace.org.uk/faith/spurgeon.html

    I think catechisms are especially good with children. Children love questions, and the catechism is questions with rich, theologically sound answers. It also opens the door for more questions. We have had great discussion lasting for over an hour some nights. We normally have our time on Sunday evenings and may increase the frequency.

    We also use this time to pray together and I take my children's prayer requests and pray for them.

    Hope this helps some.
    RB
     
  3. Benjamin

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    At that age I talked to them a lot about being persecuted in this world for their Christian values. We discuss what their values are a lot, if they are centered on God’s instructions, and the blessings in life for obeying and living by His Words that can only come through a relationship in that Word which instructs us bringing knowledge and wisdom.

    We would read in Proverbs Chapters 1-3+ a few verses at a time and then ask about the happenings in their lives and apply it to these life situations, such as, what was going on at school, with their friends, and the sneaky way the Deceiver works to spoil us and rob us of blessings. We would talk about being strong in the Lord, Eph 6 is good to discuss. “Children obey your parents” LOL, that will get their attention, but really you can discuss how God instructs this is for their good (putting on the armour and avoiding the firery darts.) The guidance of the HS (John 14:26) who will bring to their remembrance what they have learned goes with this well.

    Some good subject starters are to have them look up verses pertaining to the discussions and read them aloud and then we would discuss them; such as Mat 5:10, Gal 6:9, Romans 12:2, Mat 7:7,7:11. I think it important to teach them to be proud of serving a Good God who loves them: Matthew 5:15, Mark 10:32. Ask what is the treasure of their heart and look at (Luke 6:45).

    I was a middle child and rather bitter: Mat 7:7, Rom 10:3, Rom 14:22, Rom 15:4 Rom 8:24, Eph 3:12, and ending with 2Co 4:6 might help.
     
    #3 Benjamin, Jul 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    One thing that I always liked to do with my kids was have them read a chapter in Proverbs, before they went to school, and then have prayer with them.

    The whole day seemed to go better for us.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that there are 31 Proverbs and 31 days in most months.

    One of my grandsons ended up memorizing the whole book of Proverbs from reading it daily over and over.

    We also had family devotions after supper when 'Dad' was home. We would take turns reading aloud from the Bible. We usually read the Bible all the way through each year.

    We also discussed anything that happened that day...good or bad, and learned what the Bible said about how to handle it. Again, finishing it up with prayer.

    Singing hymns and spiritual songs was a favorite part too. A different child picked out the song to sing each night.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    Gina, personally I don't think you should target what each one is going through. Just get into the Word of God and let that do the job. If you read a passage dealing with something you or a child is going through, then at that point you can talk it over in a natural way.

    Our familly devotions for decades has been: read a chapter of the Bible, two or five verses apiece, depending on how many people; read a page of a devotional book or monthly devotional such as "Our Daily Bread"; sing a hymn chosen by the one whose turn it was to read the devotional (right now my wife and I are singing straight through a hymn book, all the songs we know); pray around the circle. This method has been a source of great blessing to us down through the years.

    Another spiritual thing we did was bedtime stories from good Christian books, or even good secular books with moral content. At even a page per night you can read through several books in a year. We read through Pilgrim's Progress, the Narnia Chronicles, Dicken's Christmas Carol and lots more.

    Did it work? Our only child has two grad degrees in seminary and will soon start his Ph. D. work. He wants to teach in a Bible college or seminary! Be patient, bathe your child-rearing with prayer, and God will be with you.
     
  6. Beth

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    I agree

    We are reading the Bible to our three children at night...the plan is to read through the Bible.

    At the ages your children are, they could do a very fundamental Navigator's study...Growing in Christ is one of them. You can order them from Amazon. There are so many other studies to choose from...there are usually 13 lessons, so take one lesson a week and discuss.

    We always pray as a family daily. Our children are ages 12, 11, and 9.
     
  7. dh1948

    dh1948
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    Different Approach

    Gina, I would like to offer a different approach. I have raised three children using this approach. They are all three heavily involved in kingdom work and are leading godly lives.

    As my children grew older it became more and more difficult, if not impossible, to find them at home and still long enough to maintain any type of formal devotional time.

    It was then that I decided to start looking for teachable moments in each of their lives. It was during those moments that I would talk to each child about how various scriptures applied to whatever they were experiencing. There is always "stuff" going on in the lives of our children, thus, we have ample opportunities for teachable moments.

    In my situation this was far more workable and I think more valuable that a formal devotional time.
     
  8. allenm

    allenm
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    A couple suggestion:

    • Connect with Sunday School teachers, either online or at your church, and ask them if they will send you the lesson they prepared this week. My wife and I teach 5yr olds every Sunday. My wife spends many hours preparing each week and is always looking for ways to "recycle" her curriculum.
    • Make it a policy to pray at every meal. We have a 6yr old and a 3yr old. We have prayed "God our Father, God our Father, We Thank you.." and "A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Thank You God For Feeding Me.". Simple little prayers to get them into the habit of saying prayers. We have slowly worked in the emphasis of "special prayer" where they thank God for everything they can think of - the dog, the swingset, etc <grin>.
    • They have become very competitive of who is going to say prayer (this makes parents very happy)
    • Make a goal for each of them to read the bible in a year. I have this webpage as my HOME PAGE: http://eword.gospelcom.net/year/ Every morning I get up and read my daily progression. Set a prize for such a long term goal - if they all read the bible in a year, you go to an amusement park.. or something.
    • Do they have their own Bible? Let them know they can write in their Bible to take notes or highlight areas they really like. This makes it LESS of an "on the shelf" item and MORE of a "keep it with me" item.
    • Keeping a prayer journal might be of interest to the "diary" keepers.
    • Keep asking questions here at BaptistBoard.com :1_grouphug:

    I hope this helps.

    "Dear Lord,

    I lift up Gina to you. She has her priority on you and is looking for how to be the best Christian mom she can be. Come along side her and show her what you would like her to do. Make yourself obvious to her and her children.

    Amen"

    -Allen
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Good suggestions. I came to add a couple of these, then read your advice and say only AMEN!!
     
  10. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I'd like to thank everyone for their input! It's great to have a place to come to like this for help and advice.

    I'm going to take a number of these suggestions. Some of them really just fit in with our family. This makes me feel much more hopeful about getting this going than I did when I made the post. :thumbs: :thumbs: (that's two thumbs up)
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    For those of us who wish to pat our pride or else be humbled, who won? :laugh:
     
  12. Beth

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    wonderful

    I totally agree, AMEN to those suggestions!
     
  13. nunatak

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    Amen :godisgood:
     
  14. Gina B

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    LOL! I specifically left out mentioning any names or certain suggestions.

    All responses were appreciated, although yours was a little pathetic.

    JUST KIDDING! :laugh: I'm sitting here getting ready to print some stuff off from your link and look it over.
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    My head swelleth. Thank ye. :laugh:
     
  16. mercy4all

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    Hi Gina! I'm new here (my first post!) and as I was looking through all the threads, this one caught my eye.

    I am a divorced mom of an almost 13 year old girl and so I do understand what you are trying to do. I have a good recommendation for materials that all 3 of your girls can share.

    My daughter is going through material offered by Bright Lights (www.brightlights.info). It is handsdown the best information I have ever looked at. All of your girls would find relevance to the materials as it was designed specifically for girls and of that age group.
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    Welcome to the BB! :wavey:
     

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