5 Ways to Add God’s Word to Your Kids’ Routine
There are so many things that I don’t do well as a mother.
I don’t plan super special crafts for my kids, nor do I like to bake cookies. There are probably many places in my house that need a good scrubbing right now, and due to sickness and busyness, we are all waaaay off schedule.
BUT, I’m not stressing about it, because I know I am not going to do everything perfectly by the world’s standards.
So, instead I keep trying my best to “bring up the average” (as I’ve begun to think of it). Because I’ve realized I won’t ever arrive at a clean home, with all the laundry and dishes done. Something will be undone before the other is completed; that’s life under the sun.
However, if there’s one thing I want to get right as a mother, it’s this: I want to faithfully and consistently bring my kids back to God’s word.
Now, I’m not saying I do that perfectly either, because I definitely do not, but it is high on my priority list.
Today I’m sharing the routines that help to keep us on track.
1. Breakfast Devotions
About one year ago, we started a new morning routine. Instead of having our kids wake up and pour themselves a bowl of cereal at their leisure, we decided to institute a punctual, sit-down hot breakfast that my husband or I would fix.
After said breakfast, we open up the Bible and read one chapter or part of a chapter. We’ve worked our way through several books of the Bible this way, and currently just finished up Ecclesiastes.
The thoughts that have been expressed and discussed have been absolutely priceless, and the family connection we’ve developed over discussing God’s word together is pretty precious too.
2. Scripture Recitation
My favorite thing about homeschooling is the opportunity I have to bring God’s word into every subject and conversation. We currently use a curriculum called Gather Round Homeschool, which works wonderfully well for our family.
Each of their units includes a recitation. This is a large section of scripture– think 10-20 verses– that my kids and I read out loud each day together.
The crazy thing is, by the end of the unit (usually 5-6 weeks), they have the whole passage memorized! Apparently, recitation is a miraculously amazing way to memorize a lot of scripture without even realizing you’re doing it. Therefore, no one is frustrated and everyone is excited to see their own progress.
Homeschooling or not, any family can work on a recitation together, and it is an amazingly beneficially thing to do! Chose a passage of scripture that embodies your family’s mission and then read it together each day!
…Did I mention it’s amazing?!
3. Nighttime Bible
My 6-year-old daughter Emily received a coloring Bible for Christmas. I also have a coloring Bible, so she decided I should come into her room each night to read to her while she colors on the corresponding pages.
Though I am tired at that point in the day and very ready for some time alone, I didn’t feel I could say no. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them!” came to mind.
And so, our nighttime routine began.
Like at breakfast, we simply choose a book of the Bible, and then read a little bit each day.
My other kids thought this was a great idea, so at present we have a rotation schedule, because apparently, having mom to themselves for this is a critical component, so simply joining in was not an option.
4. Weekly Discipleship
In college, both my husband and I were discipled by Christian mentors. This was very impactful for us. Discipleship was formatted as weekly meetings to study the Bible together. Last summer, I began to consider how we might do this with our own kids.
It was decided that every Friday morning one of us, either my husband or I, would take them out for breakfast (we wanted it to be fun and motivating) for discipleship. We are currently going through a study called My Brother’s Keeper to help build their vision for loving each other. I like it!
Also, they feel important and excited for the outing.
5. Weekly Church
I’ve often heard it said, “Don’t trust your kids’ spiritual development to the church– it’s your responsibility as the parent.”
Though I do agree with this, I also see how we are made to function as one body with other believers. Some of us are gifted in teaching, exhortation, wisdom, etc., and by attending a God-honoring church faithfully, we are enfolding our children in God’s beautiful reality. It’s okay to let others help us immerse them in His word… in fact, that’s exactly how God intended it!
Keep it simple, read the Bible
I think sometimes we feel we need a catchy devotional or child-centered storybook Bible to connect our kids with God’s word. However, that is not true.
In fact, I think we short change them when we only give them second-hand information.
I am not saying there’s not a place for devotionals and storybook Bibles… we have many! But don’t miss the blessing of opening God’s word with your children.
Wondering where to start?
It is true that some books of the Bible take more work to understand. A few that I think are easier for kids to understand are: Proverbs, James, and Matthew.
I’ll leave you with this verse from Deuteronomy 6:4-7, which I find extremely challenging and inspiring:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
I love this so much!! I struggle with thoughts of not doing enough sometimes, but what an encouragement..we are doing almost everything you and your family are! I have 4 children as well and just started Gather Round this last year, we do morning Bible time, and on Saturdays we also, as a family, do a Not Consumed study together with my husband…since they always hear me talking . Thank you so much for sharing!
I love all of these ideas. We have been doing devotions in the car drop off line for school because we usually wait 20-30 minutes. I think I want to try to add the recitation and the discipleship!
Hi Katie! Great post! In January I posted something similar. I also created several giveaways to get my audience started and I’m happy to share if you think your audience could benefit. One is for preschoolers and one for elementary-aged students. I take one verse and provide study tips for parents. Preschoolers get a coloring page with super short teaching points. Older children receive a more in-depth, five-point study in infographic form.
My website is http://gayleveitenheimer.com. Look for the January blog. The links are at the end of the post. Hope this helps. Breakfast devotions were huge at our house.