A NIGHT TO REMEMBER ◽ HOME
Kids learn all sorts of things from parents. We teach them how to tie their shoelaces, how to brush their teeth well, and how to sort and put away toys. And hopefully, we spend time with them in devotionals, such as these we print each month. However, we can add to this teaching by showing them how to develop a personal quiet time with Him. More than ever, our kids need a firm foundation, a relationship with Him, and ears to begin to hear their Heavenly Father speak above all the noise.
So just how do we model that, and encourage that, from the youngest to the oldest in our house?
A good quiet time includes the following five components, either all each time, or at least part of these, as we sit still and get to know God, his character, his love, and his mercy.
Preparation: Carve out a time and space for quiet time for the family, and for each kid. It might be on their bed, a corner of the sofa, near a window, on Dad’s chair, near the dog, or on the back porch. Give each one a personal space, and have one for the family as well. Spaces can be rotated each month! Keep this devotion as a guide (the books mentioned below are not endorsed by us, but rather suggested for you to research and try.) You may want to pick one of the five below for each night of the week, or just fit it to your own family’s schedule and need.
Reading – Kids need to be read to or read the scriptures, to learn of their Father’s character. Start with love. Start by telling your kids how you have experienced the love of the Father. Then read them John 3:16 and explain that there is no greater love than to lay down our lives for another, which is what Jesus did for us.
Consider The Attributes of God for Kids as a resource.
Listening – Kids need to know what God’s voice sounds like. He will only instruct them to love and to think on good things. Any other voices need to be dismissed. Share with your kids a time when you heard the voice of God and what it was like. Stop and be still, and ask the kids to listen, and let them share. He can speak to them through nature, through a friend, and through His word.
Consider Growing Up with God for your older kids, as a resource.
Praying – As a kid, I learned to use my five fingers as a pattern for prayer – my thumb pointing at me reminded me to repent of wrongdoings, my pointer was to pray for those around me, middle finger being the biggest reminded me to pray for leaders, ring finger for family, and pinky for those in need. That about covered it! But prayer is so much more. It’s certainly asking for things, but it includes giving thanks, and exalting God. Read The Lord’s Prayer with your kids line by line, aloud, and give thanks. Repentance is a valuable piece of prayer, as well.
Consider A Book of Prayers for Kids, as a resource.
Worshiping – Does your family worship together? Explain the value in lifting up the name of Jesus, praising His name aloud, singing together, dancing together, and all the things that worship includes. Then grab your instruments (hands, homemade, pots and pans, or recorders!) and sing and pray and dance together. Let the kids talk at the end, about their experience of worship.
Consider Spotify’s Top Christian Kids Music, as a resource.
Journaling – Let your kiddos make or pick out a journal all their own. Little ones can draw pictures. Older ones can write down thoughts and verses. Get your own journal. Write as a family. Spend time recording thoughts, prayers, answered prayers, questions, and blessings. Journaling unloads the mind, and serves as a great place to record God’s mercy and grace. When our kids were small, we each had a spiral and drew a picture to go with a bible verse each night. I still have these!
Consider A Child’s Prayer Journal, as a resource.
This month’s devotional was a bit different, but we hope you will keep it as a resource for you and your family. Good habits start young. And the best habit to start is spending quiet time with him. It’s never too late to begin…