Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Family Worship {Life With Toddler}


As Christian parents, we know that the Word of God ought to be central in our homes. Most of us probably think that family devotions are a good idea. We want to teach our children that the glory of God is our first priority, and we want the way we structure our home to reflect that.

But how?

There are two major pitfalls that Niall and I have experienced in our attempts at holding meaningful family worship times.

1. Lack of QualityMaterials. I cannot tell you how many times I've been reading a Bible storybook with my daughter, only to scratch my head and puzzle over the author's additions and/or misinterpretations of the Scriptures. We have purged more children's Bible books than I care to recall, simply because they are inaccurate or misleading. I've learned that if there is any question in my conscience, I'm much better off just getting rid of it, rather than inwardly cringing each time I read it to S.

Children may be young, but they certainly have a greater capacity for understanding than we realize. These early years are critical, and I do not want S to develop false impressions of God and His Word, simply because we carelessly fed her a diet of "Christian" twaddle.

2. A Short Attention Span. Two year old's can have a hard time sitting still... especially when they are tired or cranky, like right before bed when we do our family devotions. The last thing I want is for S to think of our Bible time as a burdensome, tedious exercise. My goal is to keep her engaged and interested, interacting with the material.

Our current solutions?


 365 Great Bible Stories. I am so thankful that my pastor's wife introduced me to Carine Mackenzie's collection of Bible stories! The stories are concise, simple, and true to the Word of God. Each one has a beautiful and sensible, Christ-centered application.

The only thing I don't love is the artwork- some of it is okay, but some of it is downright awful. I am picky, but I believe that quality illustrations are important... what can I say?  

S does pretty well sitting for these stories, but does sometimes get antsy. We try to encourage her in learning to sit quietly and still through them, but occasionally will just shut the book early on her extra difficult evenings.  


The Children's "Prove It" Catechism. I found this pamphlet randomly lying around at my church, and am so glad I picked it up! While we've wanted to begin a catechism with S for awhile, each one we looked at was just a little too wordy to hold her attention and memorize. This one is perfect! Each question and answer is short and to the point, with one proof text to memorize.

So far S has pretty well memorized the first five questions! We try to introduce one new question each week {if we neglect the catechism one week, we just stick with the same question the next}. You can find this catechism for free in a cool game format for older kids here. Or you can pick up a copy for $.75 here.

We start our family devotions by reading {usually} two stories from 365 Great Bible Stories, then move on to the catechism, reviewing a couple questions, and working on learning our new one for the week. Finally, we close out with a song or two and prayer.

Teaching S to sit still and concentrate is for sure a work in progress, but she is improving each week!

What resources for teaching the Bible to toddlers do you love? How does your family structure worship times? 


Don't miss the rest of our series on toddlerhood through the month of September! And please join us for our toddler link-up on Friday the 27th- any and all posts on toddlers welcome {feel free to dig up your archives!}.  

Check out the other posts in this series:
Introduction
Cleaning Up with your Toddler

Linked with: Raising Homemakers, Wise Woman, Thrive @ Home, and Growing Home.

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