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Christian Parenting Center
Resources for Raising Your Kids Christianly
Christian Parenting Resources: Make the Most of Family Devotions

One of the most important Christian parenting resources I can provide you is "how-to" information on family devotionals.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of recent history’s greatest preachers, said:

I cannot tell you how much I owe to the custom on Sunday evenings while we were yet children for Mother to stay at home with us, and then we sat around the table and read verse after verse and she explained the Scriptures to us....Then came our mother’s prayer; and some of the words of our mother’s prayer we shall never forget even when our hair is gray.

I’m convinced, though, that the Devil will do all he can to thwart your efforts here. He hates family devotionals. It goes against his purposes. He seems to pull out all the stops and drop everything in his arsenal on people to discourage family devotionals. Don’t give him the victory. Stand strong. God will bless your efforts![1]

Do family devotions really make a difference in the lives of our children? Unequivocally yes! Spurgeon is not unique. Countless people the world over have testified to the positive spiritual impact made during family devotions. Many children have ended up in a life of ministry partially due to family devotions in childhood.

Learning about God and His ways should take place primarily in the home (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). And there’s no time like a family devotional to come together and learn about God and His ways.

Why Have a Family Devotional?

If you’ve never had a family devotional before, you might be more than a little hesitant, thinking that it is doomed to failure. You may be thinking, “It will be worse than a boring church service.” “What will I say?” “What will we do?” Perhaps you think it won’t be worth the effort to even try. But when you consider the purpose and benefits of family devotionals, I think you’ll agree with me that it can only be good for your family.

One Christian child education expert suggests that the purpose of family devotions includes the following:

• To promote family unity and love.

• To instruct the family in Christ’s truth and to grow together in faith.

• To encourage communication within the family.

• To pray and rejoice together.

• To integrate biblical principles learned at church with school and home life; to enable us to live our faith in a practical manner.

• To develop a truly Christian spirit of love, yielding our individual rights as servants to one another.

• To fellowship together and have fun as a family.

• To instill in each member a desire to grow closer to the Lord.[2]

Sound good? I thought so. Perhaps the above list gives us a clue as to why the devil opposes family devotionals so much. He stands against anything that can bring about so much good to so many people. Don’t let him discourage you from making the effort!

If you’re married and your spouse is not a believer or is unwilling to participate, you may wonder if one parent alone can lead in a family devotional. Absolutely! Take the lead and have a devotional with your kids. These devotionals will pay rich dividends. But be sure not to let the devotionals become a point of contention in your marriage. Rather, make it a point of silent prayer.

[1] Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations (Rockville, MD: Assurance Publishers, 1985), p. 1064.

[2] Kathi Hudson, Raising Kids God’s Way (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1995), p. 22.

— Dr. Ron Rhodes

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