Every single week, someone from the Dad Tired community sends me a message and says, “Hey Jerrad, do you have a recommendation for a family devotional that we can do as a family to talk to our kids about Jesus?” And the reality is yes, I have lots of books that I think are helpful to do that. But before I answer that question I wanna zoom out and talk about a much bigger issue.
In America, we see everything through the lens of blocks of time, we have a time that we wake up, and we go to work, and we come home, we have dinnertime, and there's naptime, and there's schooltime and daycare, and all of our little nice, neat slots of times that feel very organized. But in Ancient Israel in the early church, the early Christians, the early followers of God would not have thought of life through these set blocks of time.
There's this passage in Deuteronomy that talks about, “Whatever you're doing, whether you're waking up, or you're sleeping, or you're walking, or you're eating or talking, anytime you're with your kids, use that as an opportunity to talk to them about God, about the things of God, about Jesus and his kingdom.” This is what we see Jesus do with his disciples as he walks around and teaches them. He never meets with them at Starbucks once a week for a cup of coffee and has these philosophical thoughts about life, Jesus is always teaching as he's going, and then he tells his disciples, “As you go, go and make disciples.”
This is the idea that I wanna talk about with our kids. Instead of thinking through a one-hour time slot, where you have family devotional time once a week or maybe a couple times a week for one hour, think through how to use every opportunity as family devotional time.
The way that this personally looks and practically looks in our house is we'll read a devotion, we have the Jesus Storybook Bible, or the Good Book company puts out some great books for kids about stories of the Bible, so I'll either read one of those stories or tell my kids a story from the Bible, much like I would be telling a campfire story. And then I wanna take that key message, the thing that we learn most about God from that story, and all week I'm looking for little opportunities to point them back to that gospel truth.
One example would be if we read the story of Genesis and God creating things, and we talk about how creative God is, then all week long I'm looking for little 30-second teachable moments to teach my kids, “How is God being creative? How is God creative at the grocery store when we look at all the fruits and vegetables and all the things that he creates? How is God creative when we look at the sunset and we see all the pretty colors in the sky? How is God creative as we look at the trees and how they turn color, or insects and how he puts them together?”
These are little ways that I'm going back to teach my kids about God's creativity. Or, the story of Peter and how he denied that he even knew Jesus, and yet God still forgave him. That's an opportunity to talk to my kids about forgiveness, and how God has a reputation of continuing to forgive us even when we continue to mess up.
So again, the idea here is not that we have a one-hour block of devotional time, but instead think through how do you have multiple 30-second teachable moment where you're pointing your kids back to the gospel? I hope that this helps as you're thinking through what does family devotional time look like in your family. Thanks for watching.