Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Having a Daily Quiet Time with Kids





You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.

Deuteronomy 11:19-21 NKJV

Something that the Lord has pressed upon my heart since my children were babies is the importance of having a daily "Quiet Time" with them. This is a focused time in which we read the Bible, pray, sing a hymn and memorize Scripture. All of my life, I watched my Mom have a daily Quiet Time with the Lord; hers was always early in the morning. This made a great impression upon me. She stressed through her words and actions the significance of having a daily time with the Lord and I witnessed how that focused time of prayer and reading the Scripture deeply impacted her life. 

As a little girl, my Mom encouraged me and my sisters to daily read the Bible and pray as well as keep a prayer journal. Actually, she set aside a certain amount of time that we were expected to do this when we were elementary-school-age. I balked at the notion at first, and then later grew to crave that time with the Lord and to choose to do it of my own free will without any prodding. This habit has stayed with me into my teenage years and now into my adult life. Children learn by example. Children want direction. Children need to be guided; they will not naturally "evolve" into a Bible-loving Christian--they need to be led. This is why we are figuratively "shepherds" of our children. Watching my Mom's example and being required as a child to have a daily Quiet Time with the Lord, helped me to be disciplined as an adult to keep this sacred time with the Lord consistently. I watched a Mom who was full of joy in the Lord's presence and I wanted the joy that I saw in her. This yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness in my life as the Lord worked in that desire to bring grace through His Word, through prayer and through the memorization of Scripture. 



We need to lead our children in this area; I cannot stress it enough (Deuteronomy 11:19-21). It is of vital importance. Children are only little once. We have one opportunity with them; we have a responsibility before the Lord. Lay tiredness, lack of motivation, lack of desire, or even the perceived lack of time aside and do this. You will be glad that you did and not have any regrets. 

When my two children were little babies (they are age 3 1/2 and 5 now), I held them on the floor in the morning and read from the Bible to them. I sang a hymn to them and prayed. We did this consistently every morning at around the same time each day. A few years ago, I noticed that my daughter knew phrases from many, many hymns. This was a gift to me from the Lord to encourage me to continue to have this daily time with my children. We have continued the same practice over the past few years, with my children participating more and more in our daily Quiet Time. Sometimes we read from a children's Bible, sometimes I include a devotional and then we sing a hymn and pray together. We work on memorizing Scripture verses. At night, after dinner, I've begun to read from the regular Bible and to sing a hymn after we've eaten. I have tried to be very consistent with this by the grace of God and my children have come to expect it and to love the Bible stories. 



Something that I think is so very important as a parent is to gently enforce schedules, rules,  and expectations--it is something that I am learning and growing in as a parent and that the Lord is teaching me in my life with my children. If I do not guide and lead my child, who will? And of course this needs to be done in a loving, Christ-like way--never in an authoritative "You WILL read your Bible" attitude. Because that will drive your children away from the Lord and cause them to resent the Bible. They need to watch from example. It is important that they see you reading your Bible, not only studying it, but reading it because you love to read His Word. It is important that they see you on your knees, humbling yourself before the Lord. It is important for them to see you bring your worries and problems and needs before the throne of grace. Lead by example; lead from a sincere desire for them to become godly adults who love His Word--not just because you want "good kids"; if you don't feel this way, pray that the Lord would give you that desire in this area. I promise you; it will have a profound impact upon your children. 

As children grow older you may encourage them to have their own Quiet Time. Set a timer (I love timers--and so do kids, even if they think they don't! ;-)) Give them a special prayer journal. Make sure that they have their own Bible that they can carefully outline and keep on their desk or by their bedside. Be consistent. Keep a schedule and follow it diligently, as well as you are able by the grace of God. Don't allow the cares and distractions of this life to keep you and your children from this practice. Years from now, you will be so glad that you encouraged and practiced a daily Quiet Time with the Lord. 



And if you don't have a daily Quiet Time or are not consistent, begin now! The Lord will reward you; the Lord will bless your obedience. It is never to late to begin--the Lord is able to redeem all things. Make Him first and He will honor you and bless your family and use you as a blessing to others (I Samuel 2:30). 

Below are some resources that have encouraged me and my children in our daily walk with the Lord and with having a daily Quiet Time. I would also encourage you to purchase or acquire a good hymnal--many times churches will be happy to give your family one if you ask. I have found hymnals and devotionals in local thrift stores as well for an extremely low cost. Seek and you will find! :-) 

The following are a few devotionals from authors that have blessed our family and that I would recommend highly:

God's Good News:  A Bible Storybook, by Billy Graham

The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, by Kenneth N. Taylor

Big Thoughts for Little People, by Kenneth N. Taylor

My First Bible in Pictures, by Kenneth N. Taylor 

Every Day with Jesus: 365 Devotions for Kids, by Charles F. Stanley

Note: I especially love the older Kenneth N. Taylor devotionals for kids that are sometimes available at thrift stores, the Goodwill, etc. If you find any of these, they are treasures, as the older versions are so good and out of print, I believe! They usually include hidden ladybugs on each page that the children can search for. 




You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, Rich Faith Rising, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Coffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market FridayHeart Encouragement Thursday Sitting Among Friends Blog PartyFabulous Warm Heart PartyOh My Heartsie Girls Wonderful Wednesday LinkupWriter Wednesday


36 comments:

  1. This is such an important practice and one that we have tried (imperfectly) to be faithful to throughout our parenting journey. It's been a blessing to see our oldest son pick up the routine with his own young family.

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    1. Michele; that is a blessing! It is so beautiful to see the Lord work through our often imperfect faithfulness--I am so grateful for that in my life--He is such a gracious Father.

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  2. I love the idea of teaching my kids to have a daily quiet time. I do struggle with making it happen, for them and myself!

    I long for ways to make it something more than a task for us to check off our daily list and more of a lifestyle.

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    1. Yes, Becky! It is definitely a struggle--may the Lord give us both grace to continue to press on in practicing this! The Lord bless you and your family, Becky!

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  3. Wonderful post to share with family & friends! Thank you.

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    1. You're welcome! I'm glad that it was encouraging! :-)

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  4. YES! I have two teenage daughters, and I love to see the ways they make time with God part of their very busy daily lives...through online Bible studies and apps, through Christian music, through worship dance. It fills up my mom soul. Stopping by from Faith 'n' Friends!

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    1. Oh, that is wonderful Elizabeth! The Lord bless your family as you all press on to know our Savior. :-)

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  5. Thank you so much for this! I'm the mother of a seven year old and a three year old, and while I spend daily time with the Lord, I've struggled to guide the kids into this practice. These words inspired me to make it happen!

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    1. Stacey, I understand that struggle very much!! May the Lord give us both grace as we strive and desire to teach our children to know Him. The Lord bless you!

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  6. I agree wholeheartedly. It's the small things, and his word roots down -- does not come back void. Thank you for this.

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  7. Love this! It is so important to train them up. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I couldn't agree more! This is all so true. My oldest is 13 and my youngest is almost 2. We have been doing all sorts of things through the years, and sometimes you wonder, "How much are they actually absorbing?" Well, one new thing we started recently ware some Bible trivia cards. They are so fun AND educational. Well, I learned very quickly that my 2 older boys knew WAY more than I ever realized! Especially in the Old Testament. These kids have so much knowledge and understanding tucked away from all the years of teaching them, reading to them, praying with them...it is so neat to see it now that they're older. Your words are very true. Keep doing what you're doing. :)

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Ang <3. Yes; it is so amazing to see how the Lord works through His Word and it doesn't return void . . . the Lord bless you and your family, Ang. <3

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  9. Rebekah, thank you for encouraging us toward wise choices in our homes. This was a wonderfully encouraging post. May God bear great fruit in the lives your children as a result of the intentional choices you've made to point them to the Word as a firm foundation. Hugs

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    1. Thank you, Lyli; I am so grateful that it was encouraging!

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  10. I hope every parent hears this message and takes it to heart. I do this with my own children as well. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Thanks for sharing thus post. However, my kids live in one city with their dad and I only physically get to see them on weekends. However, I call to pray with them at mornings and nights at least 3 days whaile I'm away. I wish I could do so much more. Do you have any suggestions on how to make Daily Quiet Time work long distance?
    P.s. thus living arrangement is thankfully only for the next 5 months before we all get to live together again.

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  12. I really enjiyed this post and want to do this as well. However, my children live with my husband in one city and I in another. I only physically see them on weekends but during the week I pray with them morning and nights. Any suggestions on how to make Daily Quiet Time work via long distance?

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    1. Lisa, let me pray/think about this and I will get back to you--the Lord bless you and your family. <3

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    2. Dear Lisa, this thought came to my mind in response to your question--and this has been something that has really helped me in my own life as well in different and difficult situations that I've faced--do the best that you are able in whatever situation you are facing. If you are no able to have a daily quiet time with your kids, pray with them as you are doing on the phone, encourage them to have a quiet time, pray daily for your children and entrust their growth in the Lord to our Heavenly Father. The Lord knows your heart--whatever is in your power to do, do it to the best of your ability and pray for the Lord's grace. I don't know if your husband is a believer, but if he is able to lead your kids in daily devotions, maybe that would be something that would be possible. Ultimately, do the best that you can in whatever situation that the Lord has placed you in to do His will and He will honor that. The Lord bless you, Lisa!

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  13. My kids are all grown up and they still talk about our nightly quiet time. I would't trade it for anything. One of my fondest memories.

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    1. That is wonderful, Maree; your kids will always treasure that Godly upbringing and your faithfulness to the Lord. <3

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  14. This is so very important and I love your ideas and implementation suggestions. I have never regretted dedicating that time with my kids!

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    1. Thank you, Carol! Oh, that is my hope and desire too--that I will faithfully lead my kids in this area--the Lord has blessed you in this.

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  15. Thanks for sharing this encouragement at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com! I needed to hear this today!
    Tina

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    1. Oh; I'm so glad that it was encouraging, Tina! The Lord bless you and your family!

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  16. From the time my son was little, I read a children's bible to him. We went through harder and harder editions until we were reading the actual bible. We memorized scripture and liturgy. Now I see him reading his bible at night and it fills my heart with joy. You are ight, we ignite a fire in their hearts and they do take over.

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    1. Oh, that is such a beautiful blessing, Theresa and a testimony of the Lord's working through the desire and faithfulness of a Mom! You encouraged me to press on; He is so merciful to work through my often imperfect efforts in this area--thank you. <3

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  17. Rebekah, what a beautiful blog you have! I believe this is my first time visiting (from grace and truth) and I feel so at home here. What a gentle spirit you have. I'm going to love reading around your website. I have struggled with this discipline. Lord help me! And I know He will. I came here looking for some motivation and tips in getting back up on that "Bible devo with kids" horse. This was really helpful. Thank you!!! (I'm sharing this on my welcome home ministry's facebook page.)

    Blessings,
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinistry.com

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    1. Oh, I am so thankful that it was an encouragement, Tiffiney! It is definitely a daily struggle; I pray that He will strongly bless you in your desire--your words were such a blessing to me. <3

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  18. Gah! I need to do this with my kids more! You've inspired me to be more intentional with this necessary and beneficial practice. Thank you!

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    1. Oh; you're welcome, Rachel! The Lord bless you and your family!

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