WFMW – Family Devotional Time

September 11, 2007 at 9:43 pm (Works For Me Wednesday)

Over a year ago we implemented a “Family Worship Time” at our house with our kids (nearly 8, nearly 5). It consists of reading a verse, short kid-friendly devotional, prayer and sometimes a song.

We had been having it on the couch in the family room after dinner. Needless to say there are difficulties trying to get the two kids to behave during this time – somehow they seem to get a second wind. What was supposed to be a time of reflection usually ended up as a time of frustration.

Until a few weeks ago I was thinking about our family devotional time we had growing up. It was always done right after dinner, at the table. No one could leave until it was done. Usually the first one finished eating would ask “May I read now?” and if most everyone seemed to be toward the end of their meal then we would go ahead and do the reading (usually a chapter of the Bible).

I adapted it a little – we cleared the plates and utensils distractions – and waited til everyone was done but BEFORE dessert (which, lest you think I fill my kids with cookies every night, usually consists of an Otter Pop).

It worked brilliantly. There was no hopping up and down on the couch cushions, no staring at all the toys that lay just out of reach, etc. Guess my parents did have some good ideas, huh?



  1. Corrie said,

    Great idea, reading before sugar intake. I think I’ll try it.

  2. Jen said,

    Good one!

    When it comes to devotional times my kids attention spans decrease by half and Iwe are left wondering what int he world to do with them. Food bribery totally works in our house altough we don’t have dessert every night… I may have to institute this one!! Otter Pops here I come!!

  3. Kathy in WA said,

    Great tip! I think finding the right time and place for family devotions is a constant work in progress. DH reads a chapter of the Bible to the kids at night. Since he often lets them extend their bedtime just a smidgen for “the chapter” they are very excited about Bible time and more than willing to join him with an eager heart. Ha!

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Amy said,

    Great tip. I’ve been considering this because it would help us to do it more often.

  5. Ann Kroeker said,

    A friend of mine has done this since their kids were small. Now they are teenagers and the oldest is in college. They still have devotions after dinner every night, no matter who is (or isn’t) home (even guests join in–they do it regardless). It has allowed them to talk openly about many topics because after-dinner conversation around devotions has become such a lifelong habit.

    We have begun something similar, as well. In our family, we have a wide range of ages (6, 9, 11, 13), so we decided to use the Egermeier Bible Story Book and just work our way through, starting with Genesis/Creation, all the way to Revelation. That way the kids have a chance at remembering the stories. That particular story book sticks very close to Scripture, yet delicately explains the awkward parts.

    So many kids don’t know Bible stories. It’s amazing. I sat in on a Sunday School class last week, and I have to admit that the kids were young, but not one of them could remember who saw the burning bush. That’s *such* a famous story, I was shocked. All the more reason to reinforce the stories at home! Keep it up at your place, and thanks for telling your story!

  6. Stacey said,

    That is a great idea! I’m so glad you shared it with us. Maybe we’ll have to give that a try.

  7. Stacy said,

    We’ve been doing it at the table too and it does help out with the wiggles. We do it after bath time (our kids are 2 and 5). So we finish dinner, mom or dad does dishes/bathe kids and then we come back for devotion time. They get a snack too – sometimes sweet and sometimes not.

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