During the month of September I am sharing our family's favorite devotion resources. This week is devoted to the little (and not so little) girls in our homes. Family devotions play a key role in growing faith in your child, but as our children grow we should encourage and support them in having regular independent devotions. From the age of 5 (or when they can read) children should be encouraged to take this next step in their faith walk. When our children head off to college we will not be there to lead them in a daily devotion, they need to have learned the life skill of studying God's word and praying on their own. This life skill, is truly a life skill as it takes a life time to develop.
This week I will be sharing three devotion books that our girls have used and enjoyed. These selections are for young girls ready for their first devotion book, elementary and tween girls, and teen girls who are ready to start applying God's word to their life in a deeper way. Before I share these resources, I wanted to give you three tips for helping your daughter (or son!) succeed in independent devotions.
1. Pick an age and reading level appropriate resource: Nothing will kill the desire to have independent devotions than giving a child an either too difficult, or too young of a devotion book. Take time to read through several devotions to make sure you daughter can successfully read the material and will be engaged by the provided content.
2. Set up a time and place: Help your child figure out when and where they will do their independent devotions. When the "where" is decided on, help them organize the basic things they will need including: a pen or pencil, their bible, their devotion book, and a journal if desired. If the selected location is in communal living space in your house, help them to organize their supplies in a basket or bag that can be stored in their room when not being used.
3. Check in: Regularly check in with your daughter, not to keep tabs (okay maybe a little) but to show interest in what they are learning, and how God is speaking to them. Their reactions and input will help you to gauge what level their next devotion should be. Are they complaining about it being boring? Time to step it up. Are they complaining that it is too confusing? Maybe you can help them with this study and next time select one that is a bit easier.