Thursday, June 21, 2012

Family Devotional Resources

What a great week of VBS we are having! Over 120 children have attended the past four days learning about the book of Daniel. Through the experiences of Daniel and his Hebrew friends, our children have learned about God’s faithfulness to us through difficult days. What a wonderful truth to have hidden in one’s heart! Who knows how God will use this truth in the lives of our children in the days ahead?

As important as Vacation Bible School can be in the life of a child, it pales in comparison to the role parents and grandparents can play on a daily basis. Five days of sharing the stories of our faith at VBS is helpful for developing a child’s faith. Sharing the stories of our faith on a daily basis around the family dinner table or before bedtime is life transforming. Just ten to fifteen minutes a day can fill our children’s hearts with the stories of our faith. And those stories can alter the course of their lives forever.

My family has found each of the following resources helpful in teaching our children the stories of our faith.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Loyd-Jones : Sally Loyd-Jones presents the stories of the Bible in a way that captures the entire sweep of the scriptures. Every story helps children understand God’s great plan to redeem the world. The stories take about five to ten minutes for an adult to read. The illustrations are beautiful and the book has kept my children’s attention well.

Read with Me Bible: An NIrV Story Bible for Children : This is the Bible we give to families during baby dedications. I like it because it isn’t a paraphrase of the Bible but rather an easy to read translation of the Bible’s text. This would be great for an early reader. The illustrations are fantastic. The stories only take an adult a couple of minutes to read. Our kids always want us to read more than one story.

Psalms: For Young Children by Marie-Helen Delval : This book includes paraphrases of the Psalms and beautiful illustrations. Although its target audience is younger children, our entire family has been blessed by reading this book. Delval doesn’t just paraphrase the happy Psalms but also includes many of the laments, as well. My children have latched on to these. What child hasn’t wondered if God hears their prayers or if God is there for them in the dark? What adult hasn’t wondered such things? These Psalms give voice to those prayers. One Psalm takes less than a minute to read.

These are books that have helped my family during family devotions. What I like about them is that they tell the stories of the Bible in such a way that these stories are quickly becoming a part of who my children are. I’m sure there are many other good resources. Of course, the best resource is the one you use. So give something a try today. Not only will you be investing in your child’s life of faith, but you’ll be improving your own, as well.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth – Deuteronomy 11:18-21

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