#6— Dinnertime family devotions fail because schedules hardly ever work for everyone to even eat at the same time.
#5— Mid-evening devotions fail because each person has so much to do that there’s no time.
#4— Bedtime devotions fail because of people’s exhaustion and crabbiness then.
#3— Morning devotions fail because people are much too tired to get up even earlier than otherwise necessary.
#2— Family devotions fail because the kids are too little yet to be blessed by them.
#1— Life is just too busy right now for everyone and will work better when things settle down.
The truth is that the main reason family devotions fail is that parents are tired and feel stretched to the max. With so much on our to-do lists, we do what is urgent. We think it’s better to wait for better circumstances than to do family devotions poorly.
In reality, the best devotions are often brief ones that bless the parents and then bless the children.
When parents—as leaders of the family—find blessings by meeting God regularly, children see blessings as well.
Is it possible that babies will sometimes cry? Yes.
Is it also likely children will adapt to the routine? Yes.
Might children sometimes express boredom? Yes.
Are they also likely to find interesting what their parents do—eventually? Yes.
Might one or two family members make so many jokes that the family is laughing hysterically and postponing Bible reading? Guilty. Both as a child and as an adult.
But did those occasional times actually increase family bonding? Yes.
Many excellent Bible materials are available in age-appropriate formats for children.
Children are capable of learning so much. That’s why they’re often called little sponges. What better material for them to soak up at an impressionable age than the Bible?
My parents traded off between reading the Bible with an adult devotional and reading a children’s Bible storybook. My husband and I used a Bible storybook when our girls were little. Later, they were all ready for regular Bible reading and an adult devotional.
Suppertime worked well for us. I know some people choose to do devotions together before the first child goes to bed. Some parents choose an after-school slot. Some parents even insist early in the morning is best for their family. I am so not a morning person that I can hardly imagine doing that!
Family devotions sound like such a good idea—for some day in the future when life is a little calmer and more predictable. Right?
Is there a part of you that wishes you could do them right now as a family? Might there be a way to try a very short version of them at whichever time of day suits your family best? If you have ideas on how this works for you, I would love to hear them.