Dad, Mom, and the children are all involved in the decision making process of family devotional habits.
How would you describe your current devotional style, and what would you like to change?
Dad is the spiritual leader whether he is a good or a bad example. Mom plays a significant part no matter what Dad does. Children can be helped or hindered by what they see in their parents. What are you doing today to develop your relationship with God Almighty who is consistently drawing you to Himself?
WHY AND HOW?
Home devotions are intended to help children begin developing their own devotional pattern of looking into God's Word and applying it to their lives. Children should feel free to get help whenever needed. The LQI five-day format allows one day for Sunday and one day for the family to share devotions together or to pursue some other devotional study.
Choose the proper level for each child by determining their current reading level. See the Teaching Reading section at the back of the "Spiritual Teacher Training 101" book for help in determining the reading level.
Parents are a primary source of a child's conception of God's loving care and holiness. Be an example first, and then help your children set aside a regular time each day to do their devotional study. The home devotion lessons are tools to help adults and children get into their Bibles and find out who God is and what He has done. The introduction section of each book contains suggestions for using these materials effectively.
WHET THE APPETITE
The lessons are intended to stimulate communication between children and their parents. Parents will want to talk with and provide guidance to their child in what he or she is learning. You may find it helpful to begin by considering one question together to whet all of your spiritual appetites. Introduce a sentence or phrase, but allow each one to go
away hungry, desiring to go to God and His Word.
Consistently check primary and junior lessons individually. Provide encouraging remarks. Also provide help where your child is having difficulty.
You may want to provide a reward for those who choose to do their devotional pages regularly. God Himself offers rewards. Perhaps help students choose their own rewards such as points, a special snack, a game Time when the class reaches a certain goal, etc. The goal is to encourage students to develop a pattern of looking into God's Word for themselves and relating it to their lives. Pray that will happen. Rewards should enhance spiritual growth but not overshadow it. Rewards should be reduced as habits are established. Verbal praise and encouragement are always desirable and appropriate.
Determine before God what your devotional style will be this week and perhaps this month. Try various ideas to find out what will work for your particular family size, ages and bents.
What is your ultimate goal? What will you do today to aim for that goal? What will you do today to begin establishing a good habit for yourself and your family?
WHAT ARE YOUR PRESENT DEVOTIONAL COMMITMENTS?
MONDAY: have different ones read a part, have one read the whole passage, vary the location, time, etc.
TUESDAY: practice the verse together: read, assemble as a puzzle, quote, have a sword drill, sing it as a song to a familiar tune, etc.
WEDNESDAY: share a related game or activity
THURSDAY: have a family devotional evening discussion, include singing, and hare applications
FRIDAY: focus on praying: share answers, prayer requests, praise and thank God for who He is and what He has done, end with songs
SATURDAY: review the week, research unanswered questions, review the passage and verses, share with
another family, do a related service project based on the passage
SUNDAY: worship God together and encourage other believers with what God is doing in your lives
There is much variety available, and unending repetition will become boring. Focus on valuable areas.
The mandate according to Deuteronomy 6 is to teach throughout the day wherever you are.
SETTING GOALS - DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY, PLANNING TO ENDURE
DAILY: Choose your goals.
WEEKLY: Choose your goals.
MONTHLY: Choose your goals.
PLAN TO ENDURE: 21 DAYS?
ThE reproducible habit charts on the next page are intended to help you establish some enduring habits for you and your children. Make a copy for yourself and for each of your children to begin with. (You can make more copies as the need arises.) Do not try to change too much at once, but determine before God that you will find something to change today. Some say it takes twenty-one days to establish a habit. You can be developing either a good or a bad habit today.
SEEK GOD FIRST
Time with God and interaction with His Word are all that we will consider here because that is the foundation for everything that will last for eternity. You are individually in the first, second or third week of the chart. You are either carrying out a habit or are evaluating and establishing new habits. What you do with your children will reflect what you do for yourself.
As you consider applications, do not neglect character qualities in both yourself and your children.
BEGIN WITH YOURSELF
You are the model your children watch daily. You cannot model what you are not; however, it is not too late to make changes today that will endure for a lifetime. You can grow with your children. What kind of heritage do you want to leave for your grandchildren? Weeks 1 - 3 focus on you. Weeks 4 - 6 focus on your children. Focusing on yourself first will help you develop humility and supportiveness for your children rather than using the Scriptures as a club like the Pharisees (Lk. 11:46).
Begin where you are with Week One, and determine what your present habits are. Be as honest as you can. Trying to change for the sake of filling out the chart will only make real change more difficult.
At the end of Week One begin evaluating your strengths and weaknesses in each area. Ask God to point out which area is most needy, and begin establishing new habits there.
Carry out your Week Two plan.
Once you are making changes, begin with each of your children individually and help them fill out the chart just as you did for yourself for Week One. Continue your own week Two plan.
Carry out the Week Two plan with each of your children separately. Continue your own plan.
Help your children carry out their plans. Continue growing.
Do not be afraid to reevaluate your position and progress, and make changes as needed.
"ESTABLISH A HABIT" CHARTS
Week 1 or 4: What are present habits?
Note the time you and your child actually spend in each activity
during the week below. Also note the passages covered. Note some specific prayer
items and applications you made
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat
Praise and Prayer
Week 2 or 5: "What do you want the habits to be?"
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat