A Children's Hour Includes Devotions
First of all, having an evening devotion has brought a simple consistency to our evenings. Around 7:00 PM (because my husband gets up very early for his work) we gather in the Living Room or Bedroom (if Baby needs to go to sleep). Baby doesn't always go to sleep though, often it gets quite silly with giggles, tickles and the playing of "Mad Dog" (similar to Pa and Laura and Mary in the Little House Books)!
We are currently reading from a devotional called Honey from the Hive which is of Mennonite heritage and then from the suggested Bible reading. Sometimes it brings conviction or encouragement or concern or discussion. All this is a way for our family to grow together spiritually. "Mom, I'm sorry for not obeying you today," I've hear on more than one occasion.
While the world will try to convince us to hand our children over to a school system or television influence, the Bible tells us to "raise up our children in the Lord." This means, as parents, we are to be the number one influence in our children's lives and the word of God is to be the number one influence in our lives.
How do we do this? By being in the word of God. So, A Children's Hour in the evening is a wonderful way to consistently be in the word of God together! For young children, I recommend reading Bible Stories (try Egermeier's Bible Storybook).
A Children's Hour leads to Prayer
"Mom, I pray for you every night," my daughter told me one evening.
Wow, I made it my mission to pray for my children, but I had never expected them to pray for me! They were growing in the Lord. All our years of education and reading God's word were paying off.
Worldly success is not the goal for our children, but heavenly success.
Are they living for God? Do they trust and know him? Are they seeking God's will for their lives? This world is passing soon, and all must come before the great white throne and give account for their lives. Have we lead our children to the feat of Jesus?
Just this morning, I read . . .
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
thought they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool,
if you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Children are the inheritance of the Lord. I see, today, people valuing many things above children ... such as pets. Animals are not our inheritance! Yes, they can be a blessing, but they are not made in the image of God and they are not our inheritance. We will be held accountable for the care and direction we give to our children. Our time, our efforts, our daily prayers of protection, they are to be constantly directed to our children and for the children who don't have Godly parents.
I also see people valuing screens instead of their children. I see children being placed in front of screens, when they should be with their parents -giggling, interacting, talking, walking, pointing, wondering, discovering their world.
Just as we show value to our children all day long, The Children's Hour is another way to show we value our children, because we are growing together in God. When we have this together time, our children (over time) may begin to share real concerns ... and this becomes a starting point for praying for them.
The Children's Hour can begin slowly
If this is new for your family, you could transition into this slowly. Try . . .
No matter how you begin or continue, The Children's Hour brings families together for growing in God's word, sharing real concerns, and praying powerful prayers for one another. In other words, making families strong and close.
"Be glad then, and re-joice in the Lord your God."—JOEL ii. 23.
'Tis au-tumn now; the corn is cut,
But o-ther gifts for us are spread,
The pur-ple plum, the ripe brown nut,
And pears and ap-ples, streaked with red,
A-mong the dark-green branch-es shine,
Or on the grass be-neath them fall;
While full green clus-ters deck the vine
That trails o'er trel-lis, roof, and wall.
In our dear land the la-den trees
Be-speak God's pro-vi-dence and love;
He sends all need-ful gifts like these
For those who trust in Him a-bove.
How good is He to make such choice
Of plea-sant fruits for us to grow!
'Tis meet, in-deed, that we re-joice
In Him who loves His chil-dren so.