In Deuteronomy 6, God tells the Israelites that God is God alone and that they will love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and might. Then God commands them to keep the commandments in their hearts and to “recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise."
In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Clearly, God intends for children to learn to love God and others and to learn God's commandments. Parents have the primary responsibility of teaching their children about God. One way to do so is through Christian family activities. Here are a few family Bible devotional ideas.
Faith-Based Movie Night
One way to do fun family devotions is by having a faith-based movie night complete with popcorn and other munchies. Some popular family faith-based movies are:
These movies are entertaining, and they are a great way to start a conversation about God. After showing the movie, parents and children can talk about what they learned about God and about how humans are called to relate to God and others. They might even resolve to do something differently next week because of what they saw or experienced with the movie.
Memorize Bible Verses
God commands that followers learn Scripture. Deuteronomy 11:18 reads, "You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead." Memorizing Scripture can help adults and children avoid temptation and have God's wisdom available at all times. It also can provide words to explain the faith to others.
Some verses a child might memorize include Psalm 23, John 3:16, Proverbs 17:17, and The Lord's Prayer (either Matthew 6:9-13 or Luke 11:2-4.)
Often, children struggle with memorizing Scripture. Here are a few tips to make memorization fun and easy.
Shop for Faith-Based Apparel and Accessories
Shopping for Christian-based clothing can help with family devotions. As parents look at tee shirts online, they can talk with their children about which verses or sayings they like best and why. They also can discuss what the sayings tell them about God or Christian living. Wearing Christian apparel provides an opportunity for children to ask questions about the Scripture or saying. Giving Christian apparel to children helps them think about God the whole time they're wearing the item.
Write Letters to God
Prayer is talking to God and listening for God's answer. Because writing is simply putting thoughts into words, children can learn to pray by writing letters to God. In the letters, they share what is going on in their lives and what is important to them. They ask for what they need, and they learn to watch for ways in which God answers prayers. Then, in the next letter, they thank God for answering their prayers.
Christian families attend church on Sunday together. In some churches, children are present in worship for the whole service and may attend Sunday School before or after the service. In other churches, children may have children's chapel or Sunday School during part of the worship service. Either way, attending church together is a shared experience.
One way to further reflect on the experience is to discuss it at home. Some questions to discuss are:
Sunday is the Sabbath. It is intended for worship and reflection. By sharing what is learned, each member of the family participates in this reflection.
Act Out A Bible Story
Drama can be an excellent teaching tool because it reinforces what a child has learned from reading or listening to a story. Drama makes the story more real. It also allows children the opportunity to be creative and to put themselves in the shoes of a Biblical character. Children have an opportunity to feel and understand the emotions each character might have had and to experience how God worked in the lives of that character. Drama is an excellent way for children to understand Christ and His love for us.
At-home drama productions can be simple or more elaborate. For example, they could include music, and parents could ask children to help choose the music to accompany the play. Costumes can be old sheets or clothes. Household objects make excellent props; for example, a laundry basket could be a wheel steering the boat. Families also can perform the whole story with no costumes or props and use their imaginations to fill in the details.
Share God With Your Family
God wants children to know about his love and how Jesus was the Incarnation of love. Parents are responsible for teaching their children about God. Children can learn through various family devotional activities, including movies, Scripture memorization, prayer letters, discussions about the church, and dramatizations of Bible stories. They also can learn about God through Christian apparel like that available from Love in Faith.