This school year is bound to spark an array of emotions. Address them head on with the help of devotionals fashioned with children's lives in mind. Find the right devotional for your family's life and style of studying the Bible.
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Choosing The Right Devotional For Your Family
Ultimately the decision is an extremely personal one. Compare your bible study style to your children's. Just because you (the parents) like an uplifting devotional that doesn't mean your child will. For example, both of my children enjoy reading the word of God in very different ways. One is looking for substance and the other wants to get the "gist" of it then chooses to act accordingly. To keep everyone happy, I have 3 rules and 1 preference:
Rule no. 1
The daily devotional should be short (3-5 min). If it is too long the children become bored. Either they'll be over it, or disengage because a chance to interact with the message has been drawn out.
Rule no. 2
The devotional is Bible/scripture based. I am not a fan of people speaking on behalf of biblical characters, so I don't include them in the family vote.
Rule no. 3
The devotional has 6 months or more of study material. I can always count on the pace of our lives to pick up throughout the school year. I prefer to be prepared.
Probing questions. I want the lesson to linger. Our job as parents is to facilitate the introspection needed to change, and great questions make a difference. If I can find a devotional that supplements my executive functions lessons, I am all the happier.
Teach From Love: School Year Devotional for Families
By Sam Sorbo
I came across a sample of this devotional while using the bible app, and was excited to learn about the book. As the name implies the devotionals follow the traditional school year. You'll read one devotional per school day (5) for thirty-six weeks. Each devotional includes:
One Passage Scripture
A short reading
Two questions for family discussion.
Set the tone for the day, these devotionals are short and can be done before school during breakfast.
The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture
By Sarah M. Wells
This collection of devotionals is known for being flexible and promoting genuine conversations about scripture. The Family Bible Devotional highlights 52 biblical stories. Each devotional includes:
A brief introduction
The associated scripture
Hands on activities
Biblical insights into the story called "Pop Ups" similar to what you find in a Study Bible.
I think this is a book is a must-have. I'm a fan of addressing difficult situations with scripture. In other words, I'm not afraid to delve into conversations surrounding the Bible's context with my children. So having a resource like this on hand works for our family.
Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science
By Louie Giglio
Okay, how cute is this book?! To put it simply, it's about all of God's wonderful creation. Why should children have to choose between science and religion? Indescribable contains 100 devotions with pictures on every page that include:
A closing prayer
The devotions inspire awe around God's creations, including space, earth, oceans, animals, and our minds and bodies.
I am considering this book because everyone in the family can enjoy it. Girls are being encouraged to participate in S.T.E.M activities and I think these devotionals are great conversation starters.
365 Days to Knowing God for Girls
By Carolyn Larsen
We own and have used this devotional on and off for about two years. The writing is a bit simplistic, and at times I do not agree with her interpretations of the Bible. However, these devotionals are short and each includes a key point to be considered. What I've noticed is Days to Knowing God for Girls tends to get to the heart of little girls' cattiness.
Using this devotional we've been able to identify toxic behaviors and interactions during the school year. It has lead to conversations with our daughter, and son which made parent-teacher communications smoother. I recommend this book, but be prepared to supplement the teachings with your own knowledge of the Bible.
Carolyn Larsen wrote 365 Days to Knowing God for Guys, also available in LuxLeather. If you are interested in the version for boys click here.
Live in Light: 5-Minute Devotions for Teen Girls
By Melanie Redd
This book was designed to address the specific challenges teen girls face. Live in tackles issues such as body image, self-esteem, and peer pressure to name a few. Each of the 150 devotionals can be completed in an average of 5 minutes per day and include:
A scripture and story about the day's topic
A reflective prompt
Live in Light has great review ratings. Most of the detailed reviews were written by adult women who were given copies to review. Ordinarily, I would see this as a red flag. However, based on common sense, I can say in good faith this may be a book a teenage girl could enjoy. If you are trying to help our teen establish a routine relationship with God a short and sweet devotional can only help.
One God, One Plan, One Life
By Max Lucado
This devotional is suitable for both teen boys and girls. Though, I think a boy would get more out of it because it's written by a man. It covers topics like purity, peer pressure, and bullying. Each of the short 365 devotions includes:
Practical applications which reinforce God's plan for your teenager's life.
I like how this book consolidates and presents life's challenges to growing adults. God uses everything for his glory and every part of our story in his plan. Every teen should know this to be true.
A Leader's Heart: 365-Day Devotional Journal
By John C. Maxwell
We all want to believe we're raising little leaders, but that just isn't the truth. The truth is we can. Given the proper tools and resources to guide our children down the path of success our dreams become possible. Being an effective leader is about so much more than will and charisma. John Maxwell is an expert at using biblical stories to illustrate the character of great leaders.
These 365 devotionals include reflections and lessons every aspiring leader should know. He unpacks the challenges and skills needed to lead well. Some of the topics covered in the devotionals are teamwork, stewardship, and success. You can gift this, or use the reflections to spark conversation as a family.
What are your favorite family devotions? If I've missed any good ones, please note them in the comment section.
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