Devotions With Daddy (Part I)

“Daddy, can you help me have my quiet time now?” This is one of the sweetest things a father can hear each morning! Our family’s schedule includes a time for each of us to have a quiet time, even the children. Several years ago, when our oldest child was a toddler, I purposed to lead her to have a time of daily devotions. The Lord challenged me through Ephesians 6:4 which states: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” To me, one of the most significant elements in “bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” is found in the study of His Word.

Truthfully, while I was excited about the possibility of instilling this vital discipline into the life of my child at this young age, knowing it would bear fruit for eternity, I had to address the questions of how to accomplish this with a non-literate child.

I found that there are at least two ways this can be done. The first way applies to those of us who work from home (as I currently do). The second way (covered in Devotions with Daddy - Part II) applies to those fathers who work outside the home or who travel part of the time, as was my case several years ago.
Currently, with one of my pre-readers, we are working our way through the gospel of Luke. We read through a short section together, talk about it, answer questions, look for a truth to apply to our lives, and then spend some time praying for each other. I find that spending these moments together with my child are times of bonding and fellowship.

Once my children develop their reading and comprehension, I begin to direct them toward the book of the Bible they should study. They will often read a section or chapter each day, have a prayer time, and begin learning the discipline of journaling. They may come and ask questions about what they’ve read, or I might ask them to share what the Lord taught them that day.

I realize some people might say this is pointless because a young child isn’t going to get much out of their daily quiet time. Still others would argue that we need to use fun and colorful books geared toward each child’s age and learning level in order to capture their attention and “speak to them.” I disagree. Our kids love reading through the stories of God’s Word, and seeing the pattern of God’s activity in the lives of His people. Although I will often ask questions to help my child engage in the passage, I am frequently amazed at the questions our kids ask. I like modeling the importance of going straight to God’s Word and of teaching them that it is “living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). I don’t want our kids to grow up thinking that if it isn’t fun, silly, or colorful, it isn’t worth it. Instead, my prayer is that they would develop a love, hunger, and thirst for God’s Word. Really, the daily quiet time doesn’t have to be long or complicated…just purposeful and consistent.

May I add a disclaimer?  We are not a perfect family.  I am not a perfect father.  We struggle with consistency sometimes.  We experience growing pains...even when it comes to implementing our daily quiet times.  One thing is for sure, God is there to faithfully help us and teach us.  To Him be all glory! - Eric


Robin said...

Amen! This is wonderful. I am sharing it with some young families I know.

Entrusted Heritage said...

Thank you, Robin! God bless you.