The Most Important Subject to Teach in Your Homeschool—Family Devotions
As we begin this new year of 2015, let’s make a resolution that can bring eternal dividends: commit to regular family devotions with our children. My children’s ACT® scores and future career opportunities matter little in comparison with the condition of their hearts and the place they will spend eternity. We tend to get so focused on the “three Rs” that we only have leftover time for instruction from God’s Word.
Of all the great books and classical works to introduce our children to, one book will endure forever—the Bible. It has been burned, confiscated, criticized, and disbelieved, yet its prophecies have never failed to come to pass, and its testimonies have proven true. Do we treasure it? Do we attentively sit under the preaching of it? Do we regularly read it?
Scot Chadwick defines family worship as “the regular practice of devotion to God in Scripture reading, praying, and singing, for the purpose of glorifying God and growing in His grace.” The time together as a family, worshiping God and learning from His Word, can go by many names, such as family devotions, Bible time, or family worship.
God has given parents the responsibility of raising their children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV). The MacArthur Study Bible interprets this passage as calling for “systematic discipline and instruction, which brings children to respect the commands of the Lord as the foundation of all of life, godliness, and blessing.” It requires day-in-and-day-out teaching, correcting, and modeling.
Most of this diligent teaching will probably happen during the day-to-day activities of life: “when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7 NKJV). And while we should seize these opportune moments, it is helpful to schedule a regular daily time to open God’s Word and systematically teach our children “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27 NKJV). Before they leave our home, my husband and I want our children to know God’s Word, particularly the redemptive storyline that runs throughout Scripture.
So how can we as parents implement family devotions? My local church recently held a workshop about how to have family devotions, and I look forward to sharing in Part 2 what we learned.
Scot Chadwick, “Family Worship: Teaching Our Children God’s Word,” Answers in Genesis, September 24, 2013, https://answersingenesis.org/train-up-a-child/family-worship-teaching-our-children-gods-word/.
John MacArthur. The MacArthur Study Bible, note on 1 Peter 3:6. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007.