Family Devotions

It’s not everyday that I get a brilliant idea, so when I do I need to write about it here. I’m not sure that it’s so brilliant, but it’s something that I am happy about, so I wanted to share it.

We’ve never been very good at “family devotions.” You hear the stories of the families that spend hours praying together and studying the Bible, but since we have three very active little kids, it’s not been something we’ve been able to perfect as a family.

Sure, as we are going along, we talk about God and the Bible (which might be one of the most important things to do), but we’ve not made a whole lot of progress of being intentional about those conversations so far. Our family is young, so we have some time, but not that much. Like everyone says, “They’ll be grown before we know it.”

A few weeks ago, we I (Dennis) had a crazy idea to paint one of the walls in our house with chalkboard paint. It’s fun and the kids get permission to draw on a wall. We use it for home school and other things. Then it hit me: Why not post an intentional question on the wall and let the kids answer with a word or a drawing? The parents can play along, too, answering the question each day as we pass by the wall.

This week, I have asked two questions. The first one was: What are you thankful for? It came out of my personal devotions of the story of the ten healed lepers where only one came back to thank Jesus for healing him. The answers were great. Watch the video below to find out what we’re thankful for.

Nathan drew some of his toys and we had a great talk about what we are thankful for. That night at dinner I asked Nathan to pray. He asked if he could keep his eyes open, and of course I said yes. Then he prayed one of the best thanksgiving prayers I’ve ever heard him pray, listing off the things on the wall that we are thankful for as a family.

The second question we asked was: What is God like? This led to a great conversation with Nathan about God’s attributes. We put a few on the board. The first one Nathan wrote was “holy.” I thought that was a big step for him to write that. He also wrote, “Forgiveful.” That turned out to be my favorite characteristic of God that was put on the board that day.

It’s fun now to think up new good questions for our family. Do you have ideas for questions we could ask our kids? I’d love to hear them. I only have so many brilliant ideas per week.

3 Responses to “Family Devotions”

  1. Grandma Dottie February 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    How does God love me?

  2. Michael February 28, 2013 at 5:01 am #

    Very cool idea! Congratulations. We’ve got five kids (13-6) and have yet to perfect family devotions with stops and starts. I think one of the secrets is keeping it fresh. I love your idea, but I wonder if the paint would work on concrete walls. I also wonder if we can get that paint here in Portugal. Great post. I’m going to subscribe to your blog today.

  3. Dennis March 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Hey @michael…we have concrete walls, too. The paint worked. The problem is finding it. We had to go to Home Depot to get it and used Spray paint inside (yuck)!

    But…I’ve read lots of places where you can make chalkboard paint of your own using regular latex paint and tile grout. You should be able to find it on Google.

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