Do you do devotions with your family? Truth be told I did not until several years ago. For me it is important to raise my children in the ways of the Lord. But the busyness of life kept me from taking time daily to talk with my kids much about the Lord. I mean face it. If you are not very intentional, you could go through life without teaching them a lot of things. The point is when you want your kids to learn something new, you are very intentional about making sure they are taught. God is not different. You have to MAKE IT HAPPEN!But are they getting anything out of it? Is it making a difference? Keep reading. You might be surprised at what you learn!
It was not until I had my son that I realized the importance of a simple devotion. For a while we did good. We did our devotions each night before bed. If we (the adults) forgot, he would remind us, "We didn't do our devotion!" Daily he would say things about God, ask questions about God or heaven or some other spiritual topic. (Some that would blow my mind-kids know stuff!) But then my job changed. I worked long hours with a crazy schedule. Since my bedtime was messed up, so was our devotion routine. I noticed the difference in my son! The conversations about God became fewer and fewer.
Fast forward until several years ago we had our second son and again, we would do good for a while and then not so good for a while. It was a reoccurring cycle. Then a little over a year ago I GOT it!
I have been a student for the last 3 years earning my Associates Degree in Religion. Through those classes I learned some important things about sharing the Gospel. Some of the facts I discovered I will share with you in just a minute. But for now, let me tell you about May 2014.
Reading about Jesus instead of playing with new toys!
I went on a shoebox distribution trip to the Philippines with Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. I was there for a week and God showed me so much! Those children have so little but they are hungry and it is not food they are after. It is the Gospel! They wanted to hear about Jesus. They wanted a Bible of their own. They wanted to come to church. They WANTED what all kids need- the truth of God! I came back from my trip a changed woman. My children and so many like them are so blessed that they are preoccupied with all their stuff. If their stuff was stripped away from them, they would have nothing because they did not take the time to grow their relationship with God. That for my children, was going to change! And it all started with me!
Now as for those facts I mentioned above. You may ask, "Are they even paying attention?" The answer is YES! They may be moving around or picking on their siblings or eating chips but they are listening. Every word about Christ is a seed that can grow into something bigger. Here is why it is important to start TODAY with family devotions, even with toddlers!
I found some research that Barna did and they say it best:
"The current Barna study indicates that nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and that two out of three born again Christians (64%) made that commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday. One out of eight born again people (13%) made their profession of faith while 18 to 21 years old. Less than one out of every four born again Christians (23%) embraced Christ after their twenty-first birthday. Barna noted that these figures are consistent with similar studies it has conducted during the past twenty years." (Barna Study 2004)
If all that wording does not set in for you, here is a visual:
The blue in the graph on the right is the people who accepted Christ before the age of 18! 64% say they accepted Christ before the age of 18! And the blue on the graph to the left is the children who accepted Christ before the age of 13!! THEY ARE GETTING IT!!!!
So again I ask you, "Are Family Devotions Important?" YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!
On a side note: devotions do not have to last hours or be complicated. Go buy a children's devotional book that has a devotional thought with a length of one page, two at the most. Short, simple and to the point- Jesus! :) Suggestions coming soon!
Written By: Kyliegh Kite
Wife of 12 years, mother of 3 boys (all under 10), the 30 year old Kyliegh Kite is striving to tell children of all ages, all around the world about Jesus. From her own family, to the children at her church where she serves as a Children's Director to internationally both through mission trips and her blog at www.becomingblameless.blogspot.com- sharing Jesus is her life focus!