I didn’t realize life would get this busy so quickly. The move up to seventh grade for our oldest son filled our calendar full of new activities and opportunities, from jazz band and show choir to cross country and research projects. These are all wonderful things and we love seeing his God-given talents shine, but it feels like we are constantly on-the-go!
I remember the days when my sons were little. . . although we were home a lot more, I would also describe them as constantly on-the-go! Those high-energy boys would move fast from one thing to the next. If I wanted to hold their attention, I had to make it interesting enough to slow them down and listen up.
Once, when they were preschoolers, I attempted a family devotion and had a whole lesson planned out, but halfway through talking about an important command given to us by Jesus, a little (but loud) voice piped up to say, “That’s a lot of words, Mommy.” Well, I do like to talk, so he wasn’t wrong, but it also made me rethink just how to get through to their go-go-go minds with the important truths we wanted them to learn.
Whether your family is busy with activities or you have kids who have busy hands and feet at home, it is still possible to have meaningful devotion time together! Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
These verses highlight the importance of teaching our kids about Jesus and how to live in a way that honors Him! And God shows us in these verses that we have to get creative with how we teach them. Walking, sitting, lying down, rising… those are all action words, and I’m encouraged to think God knew our families would be on the go!
Here are three essential ways we can make devotion time personal and creative—even for busy families:
The Word of God
Using an actual Bible or a devotional that includes Bible verses, start with the firm foundation of God’s Word. It is true, living, active, powerful, and so much more. It is a love letter from God to us and it guides us in living life that honors Him. Every devotion time as a family needs to include the Bible!
Our kids need time to ask questions and talk about how the Bible applies to their lives. We must take the time to talk through the verses, answer questions, and look up the stuff we don’t know together. This “talk time” might be scary because we never know what a kid might ask and if we’ll be ready to answer it, but let’s not avoid it! We can ask God to help us before we start and show our kids that we still have room to learn and grow in our faith. We don’t have to know it all to show our kids what God has done in our lives!
Make It Memorable
God commanded us to “bind them” and “write them”… this is where we get to be creative! Hands-on activities, crafts, and songs are all great examples of ways to make a Bible lesson stick in kids’ heads. One tip: do what fits your child and family! If you’re not the crafty type, don’t choose a craft! If you have a kid that loves sports, tie the lesson to a memorable sports moment. Sing or dance or paint… the ideas are endless.
And if you don’t love coming up with these ideas, the Stop-and-Go Devotional is the perfect resource for you! Each devotion follows this format: a Bible story, discussion ideas, and a simple “Green Means Go” activity to make the lesson stick. The devotional contains 52 devotions, one for each week of the year, and is perfect for your busy family!
With all of these ideas, the most important thing is to take the time to talk about Jesus with our kids. However we do it, whatever works or doesn’t work for our families, let’s not miss the chance to live out one of His greatest commands right there in our families:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations! — Matthew 28:19
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How do you make time for family devotional time in your busy life? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!