Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NEW YEAR: Daily Faith Talk

People are always asking for good devotional books they can use with their kids, which I can appreciate, however, I'm going to go in a different direction. First, I recommend they read the Bible (though I wouldn't trudge through all the major or minor prophets). I recommend The Story for Kids or The Story for Children, depending on the age of the kids because it's the Bible and not a devotional.

Second, I'm going in a different direction here because I think connecting kids and their growing faith to their lives doesn't necessarily happen through a devotion written by somebody with the best of intentions. I think it's important to encourage and equip parents to take the time to talk about faith with their kids within the context of their daily lives. The problem is that people don't know how to start the discussion or don't want to take the time to do it every day/night. The thing is, it doesn't have to be a formal conversation. It could be as simple as a dinner table discussion or a bedtime check-in. If people need discussion starters they can try something like this: 
  1. How was your day? Tell me about it.
  2. Anything interesting happen in school today? 
  3. Anything really good/bad/funny happen today?  
  4. Can you think of anything from the Bible that would fit your life or help today? 
  5. Did you see God in the world today? Where? (Caution parents not to teach kids to look for signs as to what to do in life, but to see how God used them or others or showed Himself to them after the fact.)
  6. God won't always make your life easy, but He is always there for you. 
  7. Pray. Get the kids involved in talking to God without a prayer written by the author of a book. It's never a bad thing to teach kids Luther's morning or evening prayers, the Lord's Prayer, and/or any other prayer they can commit to memory that will help them throughout their lives.
I don't mind books for some things (after all, I wrote one with my students for Advent), but for regular daily life, I prefer to train parents not to depend on them... or to only depend on one... the Bible. 

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