After we finally got our oldest child sleep-trained and into a regular routine, we knew we wanted to initiate a little family devotional time each evening. It wasn't going to be anything fancy or complicated, but it would give us one more chance to remind our children how much God loves them, to continue to teach Bible stories, and sing songs and say a prayer together. I posted a video of my son for my family to see, as he joined in with us one evening singing the "Hippo" song. I don't know any other title for it. It talks about how God made everything, including the hippopotamus, and that is a fun thing, especially with all the motions that go with it. Several girls commented on how that was a little bit of a wild song to sing right before bed, so I thought I'd share our whole routine for anyone looking for starting place. Please keep in mind that our children are not-quite-two and not-quite-four, so this will morph and grow as they do. But for now, this is what works for our family.
After pottying and brushing teeth one last time, we gather on the couch for a Bible story. We use The Beginner's Bible by Zondervan because it simplifies the stories without losing the truth and has fun illustrations. Then, each child gets to pick one song to sing. Some nights we have calm songs and some nights we march in the Lord's army. Then, we settle again and ask each child for something to thank God for that happened that day. Some nights, our prayer might be thanking God for the things we ate or getting to see a special friend. Sometimes, all they can think of is the sunshine. We never really know what they'll say, but we do guide them a bit if they have trouble thinking of something, because I love the idea of having them focus on the good right at the end of the day. After our prayer, we do hugs and kisses. Then, each parent takes one child (we switch each night) to his/her own room and sings "Jesus Loves Me." We tuck in and hope sleep comes soon.
As they grow, I imagine we'll graduate to a harder Bible, maybe have a memory verse each month or week. Probably work on memorizing books of the Bible or other facts. And we'll probably have the children start helping say the prayers, too. We'll just have to play it by ear, as I'm sure you all have to do with your family, too. This may not work for anyone else but us, but it does give us those few minutes at the end of the day to remind our children of God and how awesome He is, as well as how much He and we love them.
What about you? Do you do something similar with your children?
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.