Summers are hard for families.
The children are home all summer, older kids want to sleep in, younger kids are eager to play all day, and mom and dad frantically look for ways to keep them entertained while trying to hold down the home and a career…all at the same time.
With summer comes a new routine and often Jesus gets left out of that routine. Between weekend trips to the lake, summer vacation, summer camps, and family barbeques, it’s hard to find time to fit in family devotions.
This is why we have to intentionally make Him the center of everything this summer!
Eight Ways to Make Jesus the Center of Your Family This Summer
1. Buy every family member the same Bible. My dad did this when we were little and it made reading the Bible together very easy for all of us. He chose a very simple translation and we would sit in a circle and take turns reading a verse aloud. Afterward we would talk about what we read and examine how we could apply it to our lives.
2. Set a time for family devotion and stick with it. Let the children know that at a set time each day you will meet together to study God’s Word. It doesn’t have to be in the morning. Perhaps it is easier for you to have family devotion after dinner. No matter the time, stick with it and be consistent. This helps to reinforce to your children the importance of personal devotion.
3. Require older children to have personal devotion in the morning before doing anything else. Teach your children from the time they are able to read the Bible to have their own devotion time in the morning. Morning is the best time for them, because once they’re dressed and out to play, it’s hard to corral them back inside to have a quiet time. This will help train them to make time with God a #1 priority in their life.
4. Choose a theme to study as a family. Make this summer extra fun by choosing a theme or Bible story to study as a family. Give each child a topic or verse to study. Show them where they can find study aids online and then let them get as creative as possible. When everyone is finished, come together and talk about what you’ve learned.
5. Get creative with family devotion. Let your children create plays or skits, make up songs, watch movies or cartoons about the story you’ve read, and make family devotion exciting and fun!
6. Read an inspiring book together. I remember that as a family we read biographies on George Muller, Amy Carmichael, Gladys Alyward, C.T. Studd, Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth and Eric Liddle. Their stories were filled with excitement and drama. But even more than that, their lives were filled with devotion to God…sometimes even persecution! These amazing men and women of God still inspire me today!
7. Choose a prayer need as a family prayer focus. Do you have an unsaved loved one? Perhaps you know of a family in great need. Choose one prayer need to be the focus of your family prayers this summer and watch God answer your prayer!
8. Make your vacation a mission trip. You don’t have to go to Africa or India. I promise. Perhaps you planned to go to Disneyland. While you’re one vacation, make Jesus the center of all you do. Choose small ways to reach out to people while you’re resting and having fun! Make it a family affair as you show your children that Jesus can be the center of all we do – even the center of our fun!