One of the most important things that parents can do for the family and children is to have a family altar. I didn’t understand how to do this for a long time. It seemed like it was way too hard so I just didn’t do anything about it. I thought maybe I would give you a couple of ideas about how to have your family altar or devotional time.
I think it will do several things to have this family altar. It will show your children the importance you place on Bible reading. It will teach them to read their Bibles and pray. It will give you a chance to answer their questions about the Bible, church and life. It will give you a chance to express your love to them.
1.Â Â Decide on a time to have your devotions. Betty and I found that it was best to have ours at breakfast in Peru but at other times we have used the evenings. Our problem was often my evening schedule so it was worth it to get up in the morning and take the time to read and pray together.
2.Â Â Plan now for it to be short and fun not long and another church service.
3.Â Â We read a chapter of the Bible together. Start in the New Testament. Each day all the kids got out their Bibles including those that couldnâ€™t read. Then each of us would read two verses. Dad read two verses. Mom read two verses. Then the ones that could read would read one or two verses depending upon ability.
4.Â Â Mom would help those that couldn’t read a verse by saying the words and letting the children repeat them such as, For God, For God, so loved, so loved —well you get the idea.
5.Â Â After reading a chapter or less depending upon age and length of chapter I would comment on one or two verses for a minute or two. This is a good time to teach the children to sit still and be quiet and prepare them for church.
6.Â Â After the reading then I would ask who had questions, first about the text and then about anything. We would discuss them. Obviously, we limited the questions because the smaller children could ask questions all day.
7.Â Â Then I would ask them about their prayer requests. We then prayed. I usually let one of them lead in prayer first and then I would close in prayer. As I prayed I would mention their requests, their needs, and I tried to pray for them and thank God for them-that expresses love to them. We would pray for a missionary of the day. Each day a different child got to get the prayer card out and tell us who we were praying for. We would discuss a little about the missionary.
8.Â Â Our total time in family devotions was usually less than 15 minutes. Many times around 10 minutes. I would rather read and pray a little each day than make it such a burden that we wouldnâ€™t have family devotions.
9.Â Â We usually only had devotions about four days a week.
I will give you more later but at least with this you get the idea. Go have family devotions. Answer their questions. Teach them the Word of God.