Researchers affirm what Christian families have known intuitively for years: Families that eat together, pray together and play together are stronger. But today’s crazy schedules and priorities make it more difficult for families to do this. So Focus on the Family has made it easier for you to invest a bit of time each week to have devotions with your family.
As you raise your children in the way they should go, find the time to enjoy the journey. To assist you, we've included a few activities to help you nurture your children's faith in fun ways.
The Question Box
It's never too early to get our kids thinking about the big questions of their faith. I filled a wooden box with cards that have challenging questions, such as "How do we know God exists?" "Is Jesus really God's Son?" and "Are all religions equally true?" Several cards have answers on the back, while others are more open-ended, requiring kids to think and discuss the topic. My 8-year-old already has a practiced defense for many areas of her faith.
YOU ARE A GRATITUDE DETECTIVE. Here’s your mission: Take these tickets to church. BE on the lookout, and CATCH people in the act of doing GOOD—maybe your pastor, teacher, a friend or the person who brings doughnuts. Then fill in the tickets, and give them to people in your church to let them know they're appreciated.
Learn how to sing "Jesus Loves Me" in English and Spanish. Listen to the children singing, following along with these lyrics:
Cristo me ama
Cristo me ama, bien lo sé,
Su Palabra me hace ver.
Que los niños son de aquel,
Quien es nuestro amigo fiel.
Chorus: Si, Cristo me ama; Si, Cristo me ama;
Si, Cristo me ama; La Biblia dice así.
—idea by Sarah Hilgendorf
Bedtime Memory Verses
I have always longed for my children to memorize Scripture, but I've abandoned nearly every memory system I've tried. Then a couple of years ago, I chose a psalm, printed it out and taped it to one of my children's bed frames.
Every night, I called the kids into that bedroom, and we recited the entire passage together before prayers. They took to the routine and could eventually recite the psalm from memory.
No matter how exhausted I was, I was reminded by the paper taped to the bed frame that it was time to read this psalm. Once we all had it memorized, we put up another Scripture passage.
Reflecting on Scripture
Like most tweens, my kids rarely leave the house in the morning without first spending a few minutes in front of the mirror. So I use those brief but consistent moments to help them learn God's Word. Using a dry-erase marker, I write verses on the bathroom mirror to encourage or challenge my kids. They are spending time in the Word while they brush their teeth or comb their hair. After a week, I wipe off a word here and there and leave the marker out for the kids to fill in the blanks. I'm amazed how a few minutes each day help them learn Scripture.
Finding Faith in the Family Tree
In my preteen years, I interviewed my grandfather for a school assignment. To my surprise, he shared how he came to trust in Jesus Christ.
Although I knew he was a Christian, I didn’t know the story behind his decision. His words showed me a faith that made a difference; one that he lived out in all arenas of his life.
A new perspective. This assignment gave me a new perspective of my grandfather — and of my own faith. And it spurred me to ask my parents about their stories.
Now that I am a father, I want to share our family’s rich spiritual heritage with my children.
I want them to learn, as I learned, that their faith journey does not exist in isolation. They have grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles who all have testimonies.
Their spiritual legacy. One of our family’s goals for this year is to help our 7-year-old twin daughters understand their spiritual legacy.
Although we live a great distance from extended family, my wife and I will create opportunities for our girls to interview family members, such as on our annual retreat with my brothers and their families. Our extended family is large, so we understand that this will be a long process and will go at our children’s pace.
You may be a first-generation Christian or come from a long line of believers. Regardless of the length of your spiritual heritage, you can proudly share your story with your children. Your encounter with God is unique, and hearing about it will give your children a deep sense of belonging, not only to your family but also to the family of God.
Planting seeds of biblical truth
In this free download, you’ll get 52 weeks of family devotions that you can start today! Each one contains faith-affirming biblical principles that will help you do what no one else in this world will ever do as well as you: build a lasting, thriving faith in God into your children’s rel="noopener noreferrer" hearts.
Sign up now to get these 52 free family devotions!
More faith-building activities
Are you looking for more faith-filled activities that you can do with your kids? Each summer and each Christmas, Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine creates summer activities and Advent readings that families can do together.
Learn more about the most recent summer fun activities.
Learn more about the most recent Advent calendar readings and activities.