Wednesday, March 30, 2011

“When You Rise Up”: Faith in the Mornings—Just Read It Already! (Part III of Many (!))

“You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” Deuteronomy 6:7

As I stated earlier, sometimes I think we make Bible teaching with our children harder than it has to be. I am one who likes to read from devotional materials/character materials with my kids. My husband, on the other hand, can make a Bible lesson out of a pipe being put in the ground along the road, the orange of the sky in a summer evening, or clipping your fingernails! He can be deep, if needed, or he can be right to the point—this is what it means we should do.

I think we could all learn a lot from his approach. It just doesn’t have to be that hard. We can read. And we can talk. And we love our kids. Put all that together and morning devotions do not feel as difficult as they once did.

For many years, Ray did a morning devotion before work and I would do another later in the morning. Then we usually had evening devotions/family worship after dinner. Our morning devotions have varied over the years, but one thing that we have done more often than any other one book or method is that of simply reading and talking. (And now our schedule looks completely different with discussions and devotions with our teens while we drive; video lessons together on family night; Mom's read aloud during the school week; worship together as we travel. Again, there's not a right or wrong way!)

We did this "reading and talking" method extensively with the book of Proverbs—for years. Proverbs are wise words to live by—and a great way to start a family’s day. There are thirty-one—and correlate well with the days of the month. They are quick reads—great for mornings. And they give us instruction for how to live our lives—something adults and kids alike need to go into the day with.

Around Christmas and/or Easter, we would often focus on one of the Gospels. Other times we just picked a book of the Bible and made our way through it. We would sometimes use concordances, Bible dictionaries, and Bible handbooks, though we would often simply open the Bible and “read already.”

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