How To Do Devotions With Kids, Specifically Your Tweens
*This post was written by my husband, Kevin. He is both a pastor and a father of four, two of whom are tweens.
It was a Monday evening around six o’clock. I was in our kitchen helping my wife, Katie, on last minute dinner preparations. Just as I was pulling forks and spoons from a drawer, Katie said, “Oh, I forgot to tell you. I worked in the children’s ministry yesterday morning and we had this new family visit our church. I had one of their sweet children in my class, but I saw on the form that they have eight kids total.”
“Eight kids?” I replied with a tone of exhaustion. “We can barely manage life with four. I can’t imagine having eight!”
While we were talking and working on dinner, our nine-year-old son sat on a bar stool at the counter, doing his homework. Although he appeared to be completely focused on writing his answers to math word problems, he was also simultaneously listening to our conversation. Without looking up from his paper, he said, “I know what causes that.”
“What causes what?” Katie asked.
“What causes eight kids,” he said as his pencil continued to scratch out homework answers.
“What do you think?” Katie asked. By this point, I’d stopped whatever I was doing. I moved a little closer to the counter. I wanted to be sure I could hear his answer.
“It’s all that ‘sex in the bed’ stuff. That’s how you get eight kids.”
For about fifteen seconds, the only sound that could be heard in our kitchen was the microwave heating up leftovers. Katie and I stared at one another, completely unsure how we should respond to his statement. Finally, Katie said, “Yeah, you’re right. Do you know what that ‘sex in the bed’ stuff is?”
“Not really.” By now his pencil was no longer moving, but his eyes were still intently focused on those math problems. He had no desire to look directly at his mom or dad.
“Would you like to know?” she continued.
“Do you have any questions you’d like to ask either one of us?”
“Do you want me to quit talking about it?”
“Yes. Is it time to eat now?”
“Yes it is,” Katie replied, “and I’ll quit talking about it. But, I want you to know that you can come and talk to us about this issue anytime you have questions.” He made a few grunts as he returned his homework to a folder and stuffed it into his backpack. It was clear that this was the end of the discussion for him.
Why Doing Devotions with Kids is Important
For me, it was a major wake-up call. My nine-year-old son had heard something, somewhere, from someone about “sex in the bed.” Due to his extreme reluctance to discuss the issue any further, I didn’t know the details of what he’d been told. However, it was clear to me that for him, the veil was beginning to lift.
He was discovering (or would soon discover) how babies are made. His previous belief (which had come from his parents) was that God placed the baby in the belly of the mommy. While true, he was figuring out that God accomplished this through the act of sex. Or — in his terms — “sex in the bed.”
I wanted to get ahead of this thing. I wanted to make sure that he possessed the right perspective on this major life issue. I wasn’t as interested at this point in talking to him about the mechanics of it all (I knew that was coming later). Rather, I wanted him to see the big picture of “sex in the bed” being a gift of God, and a gift to be used wisely and opened at the right time.
Moreover, I knew that if he was learning about “sex in the bed,” then he was being exposed to other life issues as well. While I could only make an educated guess on all that he was hearing from his friends, I knew what I’d heard at his age. I and my fellow nine-year-old compadres were right only about a quarter of the time, but that didn’t stop us from discussing a broad range of ideas on the facts of life.
How to do Devotions with Kids
With all of this in mind, I made a decision. After dinner, after showers were taken, after backpacks were prepped for the next morning, I told our nine-year-old son and our ten-year-old daughter that I wanted to meet with them in our son’s room. “And bring your Bibles,” I said.
That night, the three of us sat on the bed and I explained to them that I wanted to do a devotional with them each night. We’d attempted family Bible studies in various forms in the past, but their ages, short attention spans, and the busyness of life just seemed to sideline our efforts at being consistent with anything for the long term.
“You guys are old enough now,” I said, “for us to do something a little more serious than we’ve done in the past. So, we are going to read the book of Proverbs together. Actually, you guys are going to read it, and then the three of us will discuss the passage and what it means.”
That night we began our study of the Old Testament book of Proverbs. We continued that time together the next night, and the next, and the next until we finished reading Proverbs. We missed some nights due to being on vacation or events that caused our evenings to run late. When we missed one of our devotional times together, we would just pick up the next night from where we’d last read.
Eventually, my son and daughter would start asking, “Hey, Dad, we’re doing Proverbs tonight, right?” They really grew to love this time we spent reading and discussing the Bible. It became a healthy daily habit for our family and something we all looked forward to doing together.
Throughout this time, I had to stay one step ahead of my children. Before we met, I needed to determine what verses I would have them read, and then come up with questions and discussion points from that passage. Wisdom for Tweens is essentially my notes from our time together.
Katie and I polished these devotions somewhat based on what worked and didn’t work with our children, but this is the resource I used to teach my own tweens about the book of Proverbs. In it you’ll find 30 devotions for kids to use with your own children as you teach them the truths found in Proverbs. This devotional will provide practical advice on topics relevant to tween life. It also includes open-ended discussion questions for you and your tween to work through.
It’s been a great experience for us, and I just bet it will be for you as well. Right now, we are offering a 20% discount on this devotional ebook. Start this new habit of doing devotions with kids (specifically the tweens in your life) with Wisdom for Tweens. Simply put in the discount code 2020 at check out.
Check out this free sample devotion.
We hope it will be as valuable to you as it was to us!