I still remember when I first did family devotions. Every Thursday night at dinner.
I would love to tell you that when we first started they were gentle, sweet, and quiet little angels who sat there, smiled, ate their peas, and then afterward, broke out in a stunning rendition of the classic hymn, “The Solid Rock”.
Instead, when I announced what we were doing, it took our family a whole twenty minutes to get calmed down. The eye rolling. The sighing. The rejection. The adamant declarations of boredom. The gnashing of teeth. I wasn’t offended by the reaction but I did have to wait until they settled down.
On that, I bust out with Mark 1:1. From that little verse, we discuss some very basic concepts and ideas. We wrestle with the deep things of God. After the end of the devotion, one of my sons remarked, “That’s all? Man, I could have gone back to playing a long time ago!”
The next week, they all reminded each other, “Shhhh, guys! Remember, this will only take five minutes if we are quiet.”
The point of that is the old cliché: “There nothing to it but to do it.” Forget what your kids might think about you. You know what Christ has commissioned you and me to do: proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth.
I intentionally picked Mark’s Gospel to kick off our very first family devotion for two reasons. One, I tend to default teaching the Bible expositorily (explaining the text as you go through the Word) rather than topically. Two, Mark’s Gospel is the best book to show what Christ has done for us and I thought showing what Christ has done for us and more precisely, what Christ has done in us would be more tangible with the minds of our young kids.
I have written these devotions before with just the text and some starter questions to get to the discussion started.
As for leading your family through devotions, don’t think of outright preaching and teaching. Instead, we want to generate discussion. Do not worry about being able to teach. Instead, pray, read the text and think of good questions to spark conversations. In my experience, our best devotions are always the ones that are driven to the finish by the kids and not by me. God through his Word provides the topics. Me? I simply read the Bible and ask the questions. How easy is that?