This past summer we started something new – we tried individual quiet time with Jesus all together in one room.
Over the past years I’ve learned to just dive in to my own quiet time even with others around, if need be. I had to – there were so few moments to myself. So, I’ve learned to just tune out the wrestling or piano practice or football going on in the front room and focus on what I’m studying or reading. But I longed to teach the kids about this too. To guide them through what “quiet time” with Jesus could look like – anything!
We gathered their bibles, devotional books for kids, notebooks, pens and colored pencils, white board and markers, etc. I explained that this time could be anything they wanted it to be – even just sitting quietly, praying, or listening to music that would guide their thoughts.
The first time we did this together it felt a bit forced – “mom is making us sit and read our bibles” kind of thing. I set a timer for a short time – only 15 minutes – and after a few minutes each settled in to what they were doing.
As we continued through the summer, the time became more relaxed. I’m not sure James and Anna always wanted to do this, but they never complained about it. And, we didn’t do this every day – maybe once a week or so. My goal wasn’t to force them into wanting to meet with Jesus, but rather to guide them and gently suggest that this time could be sweet and relaxed.
It was fun watching them gravitate towards different things – James usually opted to read the Jesus Calling devotional for kids or read a section in scripture. Anna would read a shorter devotional for young kids, look up the verse and then write it out or draw.
Now that we’re into the school year again I’ve been brainstorming how to continue this. I think Friday afternoons might work since the kids only have half days on Fridays. That afternoon is already more relaxed – we’re usually home, have rest time, and a chunk of free time to slow. Hopefully the kids will welcome the idea again. If not, we’ll press on, trusting that God’s Word will make its way into their hearts.
…”so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Lord, I ask you to guide me in these efforts. Help me to convey the love and desire I have for these meetings with you to my kids. Help me to be relaxed about it, not forcing them but lovingly guiding them into this time. Would you do a mighty work in their hearts and create a desire for this in them? We trust you in these times together, Lord!
How have you taught your children in this area? I’d welcome any ideas!