Ah . . . the lazy days of summer. A time with no soccer or gymnastics practices to juggle. A time when the biggest decision of your day is which flavor Freeze Pop to pick. But these unscheduled days tend to have a way of stripping us of all the good routines that we maintain during the school year. Like putting things away when you are done with them, eating balanced meals . . . and devotions.
If you find yourself in a summer slump with family devotions, try a few of these fun ways for your family to meet with God.
1. Go Fishing. Grab a picnic blanket and a bowl of Goldfish crackers, pretzel rods and peanut butter and head to the back yard for some Bible “fishing.” Use a peanut butter dipped pretzel to “fish” for crackers while reading Matthew 4:18-22. Talk about what Jesus meant when he said His disciples would be “fishers of men.” Look closely at the response of the disciples and pray to have similar hearts full of immediate obedience.
2. Go for a Float. If you have a pool (or access to one), you have a great object lesson for devotions right at your finger tips. Have every child grab a raft and relax as you read the story of Jesus walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-32). Use this as a chance to talk about true faith and what that looks like in their day to day lives.
3. Make shadow people on the lawn. On a sunny day, make some shadows on the lawn. Then make some funny faces. Ask your kids to identify the face you are making from the shadows. Shadows are fun, but they don’t show much detail. Talk about the fact that we tend to cling to this world and all that it has to offer. We do not realize that Earth is simply a shadow of the things to come (Hebrews 10:1).
4. Blow some bubbles. Head out to the back yard with your Bible and a bottle of bubbles. Read John 3:5-8, emphasizing verse 8: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Try and have your children guess where the wind is going and where it is coming from. Talk about the fact that we can’t see wind, but we can see its effects. The same is true for the work of the Spirit in believers. We can’t see His work, but we can see the effects in the form of changed lives.
5. It’s race time! Mark a start and finish line across a stretch of lawn. Each child must complete a series of tasks along the way. Include some spiritually significant activities such as: lifting a heavy rock and placing it in a bucket (Matthew 11:29-30) or picking up a mirror and using it to smudge face with dirt, walking 20 paces and wiping it off without a mirror (James 1:23-25). Declare everyone a winner: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Talk about the significance of the tasks they encountered along the way.
Making God’s word come alive for our children is so important in helping them see the relevance of it to their daily lives. Infusing His word with fun activities during family devotional time can make a lasting impression.
[Photo source: dee from morguefile.com