The alarm clock taunts me with its sing-song beckon to jump out of bed. Honestly, I think I’d rather have a root canal. As usual, I didn’t turn off the lights until after midnight last night and the pillow is just far more inviting than anything else competing for my attention. So I snooze a little longer and vow to shorten the morning’s to-do list.
Ever been there? I hate to admit that for most of my life, every single morning went like this. I would lie in bed until the very last possible second, squashing whatever I needed to accomplish into the shortest possible time allowance. Which included my quiet time.
Well, since we are being honest here, this notion of “quiet time” or “morning devotions” wasn’t even on my list until a few years ago. I knew about it and knew I should do it, but that was about it. I probably had only a handful of days when I had successfully kept that habit and most of those were at youth camps. As I grew older and started attending Bible studies, desiring to grow in my faith, I still made all the usual excuses, pushing it back to the last 5 minutes before bed at best. Most days I never even felt guilty about it either.
Once I decided that I truly wanted to spend time with God, I slowly began to reclaim my mornings. But it was hard. Scandalously hard. In fact, I failed over and over again for years trying to make this a regular habit. I would find myself going strong for 30 or 60 or 90 days in a row and then something crazy would happen in my life and the snooze button would once again take its position as king.
Establishing a daily quiet time habit is probably the most difficult thing I’ve tried to do in my adult life. Which brings me to the topic at hand: my kids. If there is one thing I am sure of, it’s that I want to do everything I can to keep my kids from experiencing the same failure and struggle that I have.
3 Things to Teach Kids About Quiet Time
1. This is not an obligation, nor does it bear guilt.
Nothing will squelch your desire for the Lord faster than a bunch of rules and regulations. We are not obligated to God. He doesn’t force a relationship with us. He wants us to desire this relationship with Him- that’s true salvation. Nothing else. Which brings me to my next point.
2. If I love the Lord with all my heart, I will be more than excited to spend time with Him.
Pardon me while I step on your toes in love. But girls, if we really love the Lord, how can we not want to be with Him? Time spent in prayer and reading the Word is the only way to connect with Him. It’s the only real way to thank Him for the many blessings that He has given us. And no, I’m not talking about a new car or a bill-free life. I’m talking about the very breath that He gives us, the cleansing from sin and salvation from the depths of hell. How can we not be thankful?
In my life, I found that I was so wrapped up in the world’s view of “blessing” that I totally missed the most important gift God has given me- a pardon from my most miserable and wretched self. Although I grew up in church and could regurgitate the most theological of statements on this topic, it wasn’t until I truly understood how much He has given me that I desired to give anything back. I learned that this is a heart (not a head) relationship. We can not afford for our kids to miss that truth.
3. If my day doesn’t start with Jesus, it’s almost impossible to be on the right path.
I could throw half a dozen verses at you that support this point, but I’ll just mention two. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek FIRST the kingdom of God. FIRST means before coffee, shower, and checking off the to-do list. If God is first, then no part of my agenda comes before Him.
But more important than that is Proverbs 3:5-6. You probably have this one memorized. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart… and He will…”
Can you finish it? That’s right- He will make your paths straight. One day I finally realized that my day was never EVER going to go the way I intended. There would always be distractions, unexpected drama, and possibly even pain. I am not equipped to do this world without God. So how can I possibly go into the day without His guidance? The best possible gift we can give our kids is to help them understand this one thing.
With God’s guidance over their day, blessing and truth will define their lives. No, I’m not saying they will be perfect. That’s impossible for man this side of heaven. But, starting our day by allowing God to direct our paths will change us inside and out!
It works- I promise.
Once I grasped these three things, everything changed. A daily quiet time was absolutely essential for me to function and I couldn’t wait to be with the Lord. Although I do sometimes still struggle, it’s rare. This is what I want to teach my kids. Not the head knowledge of “good Christians have a daily quiet time.”
How about you? Are you all in? I hope so.
I’m so excited to share with you my newest resource! Developing a Quiet Time is a Bible study for kids on this exact topic. This tool will teach them what we talked about above and so much more. Come check it out…
This post is part our series on helping your kids develop a quiet time with God. You may also enjoy:
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