Saturday, October 11, 2008

Making a Bible/Devotional Area that WORKS!

The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up. Write them down and tie them on your hands as a reminder. Also tie them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses. Also write them on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Where do you sit down with your children and the bible? Do you have a specific place? Is the bible in plain view? How often do your children ASK you to read it to them?

I have been organizing my new house recently and I've discovered that visibility and ease of access is key (see the above bible verse) to setting up a successful devotional area (one that actually gets used for that purpose!). I've brainstormed a few "musts" for our special place that may be useful to others:
  • Use the same area all the time. It raises the air of expectancy and provides a secure place to seek the Lord.
  • Make sure things are visible, but out of reach of small hands that would love to explore (make a mess of) the special spot.
  • Decorate simply but comfortably. Don't use a chair that would be uncomfortable when wearing certain kinds of clothes, like jeans. You want to be able to go there at any time, without having to dress for the occasion.
  • Put the bible and devotional books in an easy to reach location. Too much trouble or too many missing items and you won't go there.
  • Make it attractive. I want it to lure us in as we walk by. Think pillows, throws, flowers, pictures, windows, etc.
  • Post an erasable board or hang a clipboard on the wall to write bulleted prayer items. Pray them often.

As a family, we also try to read from a devotional book at every meal. I have bought many resources for this purpose and found that they were rarely ever used past the first chapter. Finally I figured out how to make it work.... keep the book in the middle of the table as part of the centrepiece! Visible. Accessable. USED. My son actually asks us to read it the moment we sit down. :)

Teaching children God's Word will only work if we actually read the bible. Be done with spending hours thinking about how to do it. The Words are there. Just do it! Happy reading! :-)

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