5 Things You Can Do Now to Create Dinner Devotions at the Table

The dinner table is a great time for family devotions. Dinnertime provides an opportunity to connect over food while having fun, joyful and meaningful faith-building conversations and here are 5 Things You Can Do Now to Create Dinner Devotions at the Table

So what exactly are family devotions? The words suggest the idea of devotions with your family, which is a small snapshot of the bigger picture really. Family devotions could be described as home fellowship or parent-led devotions.

My husband and I want to model for our children the reality of a genuine relationship with Christ. We teach them how to pray, how to study and memorize scripture and how to show Christian love to those around them. My husband and I are not leaving it to chance that our children will absorb a biblical worldview on their own without our instructions. We can’t simply rely on Sunday school or youth group to take on these tasks. The responsibility lies squarely on our shoulders.

5 Things You Can Do Now to Create Dinner Devotions at the Table

How We Have Devotions At Our House

When our children were still quite young we began this tradition of dinner devotions and we wanted to make studying the bible fun. My children are teenagers with one tween now and we still do family devotions, but not as often as Bible curriculum is built into our daily life. A great way to inspire dinner table devotions is with wordplay. Each evening we begin dinner with a prayer and a question. Everyone is given an opportunity to answer the question. Sometimes I will even use strips of paper as a table cloth and let the children write their answers at their place setting.

“Are you careful about the words you say?”
“Are you as kind to your brother and sisters as you are to your friends?”
“Do you do lots of good things?”

After the question has been answered, my husband will lead us in our family devotions. He has a daily family devotion schedule planned out with a story and bible verse{s} that relate to the stories. The stories help our children understand the bible verses that he reads. Each story is a lesson and the daily question, story and bible verses all connect and relate to one another. These stories are quite often little parables, and short. These are not lengthy discussions and we still want dinner time to be a fun family atmosphere. The story is short, the verse is a reminder and the prayers are normal. The devotion is such a part of the dinner, my children don't even realize this is something different. 

It is a time commitment for sure and takes some pre-planning on our part, which may take us away from other pursuits. However, missing a television program or a load of laundry is a wonderful trade off to keep these devotions in our daily lives. Having this set time for fun and spiritual growth as a family demonstrates to our children what is really important. There is always room for five minutes of Bible time.

5 Things You Can Do Now to Create Dinner Devotions at the Table

We always end our family devotions with an ACTS prayer. This is sometimes a task to think of a prayer for each, so we are not strict about this and also the kids have the opportunity to give their answers in private or at bedtime. 

A(Adoration)
C (Confession)
T (Thanksgiving)
S (Supplication)

Remember to take time for prayer, worship and the study of God’s Word with your children. What do you do to nurture your children’s relationship with the Lord?

As a Christian parent, I want my children to grow up loving the Lord. It is my responsibility to lead them in this direction. Dinner devotions are one of the easiest and most powerful ways to pull a family together — it becomes a safe place, which ultimately leads to family strengthening.

5 Things You Can Do Now to Create Dinner Devotions at the Table

Read from a Children’s Bible

We actually use the books that my husband had as a child. Each night one child gets to read the bible verse and my children are always excited when it is their turn. Keep the stories short so your children will stay engaged.

Sing Fun Songs 

Bible songs can be purchased through iTunes or at Christian bookstores. Before you know it, your children will be singing them standing in line at the grocery store.

Utilize Supplements

A great addition is using stuffed toys or puppets. Visual aides make the story real to a child. For example, is you are reading about Noah’s ark, gather your animals two by two and bring them along.

Scripture memorization can help strengthen your children’s heart

Pick a verse from the Bible and repeat it every day until everyone memorizes it. We are currently memorizing the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Memorizing God’s word teaches us to train our brains and hearts to have a habit for the rest of our lives.

Pray

In the beginning, you may need to be the example, but after awhile, your child will know what and who to pray about. God cares about every detail and delights in your time spent talking to him. Pray A.C.T.S. daily. 

Adoration: “You are the giver of life.”

Confession: “I did wrong today.”

Thanksgiving: “I give thanks to you.”Supplication: “Help me have self control.”

Soon it will become a part of your day to say, “Let’s take time to be with God.” Sometimes, Bible time may be cut short due to everyday life. Just remember to remain committed to the goal of family dinner devotions. So out with the bad thoughts of stress, worry and fear. Leave that behind and focus on the good and the goodness will spread.