Sometimes it’s tough to get family devotions (or family faith talks) started in your home, especially if your children are now in the preteen or teen age range (hang in there!). The book, As for Me and My House-Volume 2, written by Tom and Lori Ziegler, just may be the tool you need to get a jump-start on this rewarding family tradition.
The introduction does a great job setting the stage for a productive and enjoyable time with suggestions such as:
- Have fun! Family devotions should not be consistently full of correction.
- Talk as a family. Ask your children’s opinions on topics before sharing your own opinions.
- Let your children take turns leading the family devotions once in awhile.
Each family devotion (there are 50 in all) contains a Scripture passage to focus on (usually 5-10 verses), an objective, and activity/discussion guide, and a commitment or follow-up section. There’s also a verse (or sometimes two) at the end of each devotional to memorize or use for further study.
Each devotional is filled with many conversation starters and discussion questions. If families are consistent with using this book, I can see them growing closer fairly quickly. Some of the devotionals seem a little young for teens, but parents could probably adapt the discussion questions easily.
Families will have to be very diligent about spending time in the Word when using this book. Besides the reference to Scripture at the beginning and end of each chapter/devotional, there is little actual discussion of the Bible. Some hardly mention the concepts in Scripture at all. Others seem like a cursory or shallow mention of the events in the passage. A few do a great job comparing Scriptures and drawing some important application conclusions, but not too many.
As long as families remember this book is a tool in family devotional and not a “all-in-one” product, they should be in good shape. Make sure to read the Bible passage aloud to the family and spend some time talking about it before diving into the questions in the book in order to keep the focus on God. With this in mind, I would recommend this book for anyone who’s just getting started with Family Faith Talks or family devotional time. Though the book is aimed at preteens, I think it would be suitable for anyone in the ages of 8-15. For about $12.00 your can pick up your copy on Amazon or the DPI website.
Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from DPI Publishing in exchange for a review on this blog.