Parents have a divine mandate to “train up a child in the way he should go.” (Proverbs 22:6.) Like climbing bean plants that need support to grow, children need the supportive framework of the Word of God or they will only connect with the things of the earth, never growing upward to their spiritual destinies in the Lord. (Book Review and Giveaway continues below).
Building a sturdy framework for our children, however, takes time – time we often lack. We would somehow need to sum up all the essential concepts of the Christian faith and then systematically present them in a way that our kids could relate to. That would be a monumental task!
Tony and Jonathan Evans have taken the time to do just this in their new book for families: the Kingdom Family Devotional. (Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, IL, 2016.) Tony, in case you haven’t heard of him, is a pastor, author, and NBA chaplain. His son Jonathan is chaplain to the Dallas Cowboys and an author and speaker in his own right. Together, they have tackled the daunting task of making quiet times with children both meaningful and comprehensive.
The Kingdom Family Devotional (produced in conjunction with Focus on the Family) is divided into 52 chapters, one for each week of the year. Each chapter contains 5 lessons developing one spiritual truth, such as love, prayer, money, sin, or idolatry. Children learn about one topic in depth each week and are given practical and fun illustrations each day to reinforce these truths. Friday’s devotional also includes a “family fun” activity for the weekend. Parents can use the lessons as written or adapt them for older children.
The devotional is best for elementary-aged children, although there are several entries that reference or include the use of smartphones and technology. The book would work well as a reference guide for homeschooling parents who might want to supplement their character lessons with extra material or activities. Sunday school teachers in smaller churches could conceivably use this as a starting point to plan a year’s worth of their children’s curriculum.
For example, the week on prayer includes teaching on the biblical scriptures concerning prayer, but also encourages families to create a prayer jar or prayer journal, so that children can see at the end of the week which requests God has answered for them (and which ones require more patience!) They learn from this activity that not all answers to prayer are immediate.
Tyndale Publishing House has graciously provided a copy of the Kingdom Family Devotional for my review, allowing me to run a giveaway this month. (Woohoo!) If you are a parent or grandparent of young children, or know someone who would benefit from this devotional, I encourage you to enter the giveaway for a chance to win your very own copy! Simply fill out the form below.
NOTE: Tyndale Publishing House & Focus on the Family Ministry employees not eligible to enter. Giveaway starts March 22, 2017 and ends April 8, 2017. Winner will be contacted by email and a copy of the book sent by USPS mail (free of charge) upon provision of the winner's address. *I do not sell, rent, or share my readers' information!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.