As parents, the greatest challenge we face is to help our children know God and His ways, so that our children and their children can follow after Him.
As parents, the greatest challenge we face is to help our children know God and His ways, so that our children and their children can follow after Him. The responsibility to teach our children about God cannot be delegated to the church or Christian schools. This responsibility, privilege, and blessing, rests with parents. The purpose of this article and related books is to assist parents in teaching their children, daily, how to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength [Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:37].
Our children face tremendous pressures in our culture that will make it difficult for them to know God and keep the faith. Parents labor to make ends meet, to provide a good education, a nice place to live, and decent clothes for their kids. In our fast-paced world, it is difficult to find time to teach our kids about God. Yet, we know that this is the true priority. The problem is compounded because we feel unable to teach our kids about God, since the challenge seems so complex. But, we really can teach our kids about God on a daily basis.
…we really can teach our kids about God on a daily basis.
This article and companion book, Gospel of John Family Devotion, will help your family study together through the Gospel of John. Learning through a book of the Bible is a great way to learn about God, because it provides a context for your family devotions. John’s gospel, in particular, is a great book to study. John wrote to show us why we should believe in Jesus, and how to experience the Christian life: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” [John 20:31].
…help your family study together through the Gospel of John.
Children can learn from the Bible at an early age [2Timothy 3:15]. The related book is ideal for families with children from first grade through middle school, but can be used by all. Every day, spend time in one of the lessons with your family. For example, spend 15-20 minutes before school and work at breakfast time, or spend time at the dinner table going through a lesson. It is helpful to review or complete each lesson before moving to the next. You can talk about the lesson in the morning, and then review it at night, or explore the same study two mornings in a row.
When Jesus was in the temple as a boy, He was in the middle of a group of teachers listening to them and asking them questions [Luke 2:46]. Encourage your family to ask questions as well as listening and answering questions. The family devotion time is intended to draw us closer to God, and to help us bond with one another. Questions in the introduction to each topic and the application [bringing it home] sections are frequently oriented toward the kids. For example, the question may ask about school rather than work. Nevertheless, parents should respond to the questions as well. You can either share about your childhood experiences, or adapt a question to your current life situation. As the family shares their experiences they will draw closer to one another, and to God.
Begin the devotion time by asking a family member to pray. Then read the passage from the Bible. Take turns reading. Perhaps each person reads a verse, or different family members read the whole section on different days. If a section seems too long, feel free to read only a part. Consider reading the remaining verses when you review or complete the section. The introduction questions should be answered by each family member, and draw attention to the topic. The WDJD section helps us to consider what did Jesus do. The “What’s the point?” section focuses our attention to the subject. The FYI provides a bit of related information for your interest. The “Now what?” section helps us to consider what to do next.
The Bible text suggests a key verse from the passage. Each family member should try to memorize the verse [please see the appendix at the back of the book for some suggestions on how to memorize Scripture]. The bringing it home section helps us to apply what we have learned. Write your family’s answers in a separate journal or in the margins of the book. Writing your answers helps make your thoughts and ideas tangible, and provides a way to review and see how you have grown in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [2Peter 3:18]. Finally, have a family member pray at the end of the devotion. Remember to: read it, learn it, and do it. Let your family see that God is real in your life.
Let your family see that God is real in your life.