Monday, October 18, 2010

Family Devotions

What are family devotions?

We have family devotions every night in our house. This is the most important time of our day that we spend together as a family. Nick reads a section of the Bible and then we discuss the passage/chapter.
Our devotions always end with a time where we talk about any wrong doing we may have done during the day (most often this is towards another family member).  That person will ask for forgiveness and follow with their own individual prayer to God. This is then followed by a time when we discuss any prayer needs & that person is prayed for by another family member. Nick then prays over our family as a conclusion.

This is a very special time for us. It is a peaceful way to end the day & it brings our family much closer together. As Christians it knits us all closer together with God, as a family unit. Seychelle has grown so much spiritually since we started family devotions. She hears the Word of God fully.  She is also able to witness her Dad & Mom being honest about mistakes that they have made & how we reconcile these with each other and God.

When we first started this it was a lifechanging decision for us all. The peace & the presence of the Lord is very strong during our family devotion time & I believe that this is impacting all of our lives in a very real way.

We were initially inspired by Steve & Teri Maxwell's audio teaching called, "Feed My Sheep: A Practical Guide to Daily Family Bible Time."
The entire audio teaching is fantastic but what stood out to us was how important it is to read from a full version of the Bible. When we started considering a family devotional time, Seychelle & I were reading in the mornings from The Beginner's Bible (a simple preschooler's paraphrased bible of selected stories).

It was quite a leap of faith to suddenly go from reading a preschooler's bible to a full Bible version. How would a 4 year old manage?  We trusted God with this along with seeing the wisdom in it. 

Seychelle is taking in what she understands from each passage at her own level of comprehension. 
We are using the Discoverer's Bible, an NiRV version. Seychelle is learning to sit quietly and listen to God's Word.  She had to learn to do this & it took some time (as she is a very fidgety 4 year old), but the rewards have been great!

Our family devotion time lasts about 15-30 minutes. As we only have 1 child, we are able to tailor the time period specifically to her age limits. Seychelle's attention span at this time of day is at a maximum of 30 minutes. We have found this to be the right amount of time for us. As Seychelle grows older we will extend this time & the amount we read from the Bible.

If we happen to have time after our Family Devotions before Seychelle's bedtime, we will read to her one of Arthur Maxwell's Children's Stories. We cannot recommend Arthur Maxwell enough! His books are old classics that have stories about children who are learning to develop character traits. We have invested in these books and have a few of them on our bookcase.  There are always many to be found at used homeschooling book sales.  They are just such wonderful heartwarming stories & we all look forward to reading them! He has written many volumes of such stories.