Family Bible study time is an important part of leading kids along their faith journey. But it’s hard to be consistent when life is busy and unpredictable.
I think the biggest challenge to being consistent with anything in life is our expectations. When we expect ourselves to be consistent with a grand plan to gather together five days a week for a 30-60 minute family Bible study time, we set ourselves up for failure. For most families, this just isn’t going to happen. Our complicated ideas of what family Bible study should look like are often our worst enemy to growing our faith at all.
Family faith-building doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Small seeds, planted and consistently cultivated over the years will grow long-lasting faith in our children.
Here are three keys to apply to build consistency in family Bible study and bring growth this year.
KEY #1: Simplicity
Find Simple Tools and Methods for Family Bible study and Devotions.
Remember that what works for one family may not work for yours. Look for books and tools that will be effective for your unique family situation and don’t worry whether or not it’s “up to par” with what others are doing. The brand-new devotional Every Day with Jesus: 365 Devotions for Kids is a wonderfully, simple tool families can read together at breakfast, dinner, bedtime or in the car on the go!
Also, try this simple Bible Study Method (it can take as little as 10 minutes). Even 10-15 minutes a week spent reading a verse from the Bible and talking about it is a seed of family devotion planted in your family life.
KEY #2: Surroundings
Cultivate a Faith Culture in Your Home.
When I was growing up our family devotion time was unstructured and that worked for us because my parents cultivated a culture of faith in our home. That means faith was a natural part of our everyday conversations. So although we weren’t sitting around a Bible or devotional book every day, we were having daily conversations that molded our faith. We felt love, acceptance and permission to ask questions at all times.
Focus on nurturing an atmosphere of faith in your home. Create a safe place for your kids to develop an organic understanding of God and the Bible through regular encounters with you.
Keep simple tools at the ready. I love to keep a stack of devotional books by the kitchen table or in the car so I can grab one when I have a few extra minutes with the kids. Might as well make discipleship easy by being prepared and creating a home culture that makes faith a part of the family norm!
KEY #3: Seasons
Find a Rhythm in the Seasons.
I love the church calendar. Advent, Epiphany, Lent, even Ordinary Time. . . Each season has a sacred purpose and a rhythm that leads one into the next. Even Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall bring with them the opportunity for new lessons about life and growth. Follow the seasons and develop a rhythm for your family.
May your hearts be fully [devoted] to the Lord our God. — 1 Kings 8:61 NIV
When we adjust our expectations and rethink what faith-building and family Bible study should look like, we find freedom to develop a habit of DEVOTION that becomes a part of who we are, not just something we try to find time to do.
Then consistency comes naturally instead of being the thing we strive for and can’t ever seem to accomplish.
* * *
How have you tried to cultivate a culture of faith in your home? What books, tools, or practices work the best for you?
Take a look inside…