We bought my oldest her own Bible almost two years ago when her reading skills reached a level where she was able read and understand the Bible independently. She was also getting frustrated that she hadn’t read all the Bible stories she was hearing — they simply weren’t in her Jesus Storybook Bible. We chose a beautiful, lavender, imitation leather ESV Seek and Find Bible with her name embossed on the cover. She was delighted with it, and is sure to bring it to church and Sunday School each week. She’s learning to look up references for herself, and loves finding and reading the verses referenced during our daily Morning Time.
About a month ago, we had a little chat about reading and praying regularly on her own. We discussed making it a regular part of her day — how it is easier to maintain a new habit if we repeat it at the same time each day (upon waking in the morning, during her afternoon quiet time, or before bed). I let her know that I usually do mine in the afternoon or before bed.
Next, I gave her what she found to be very exciting: her own pretty notebook and a devotional. I encouraged her to write in the notebook daily — she could write out something new she learned, a question she wanted my help in answering, or even just to copy out a verse. I was so happy to get out my own Bible with her after that first day when she brought me her journal and help her find the answers to her questions. I LOVE that she’s asking questions!
The devotional book I gave her was The Kids’ Book of Devotions: A 365-Day Adventure in God’s Word by Mark Littleton. This book was provided to me free of charge by the publisher through Booklook Bloggers. I was not required to provide a favourable review, and all opinions are my own.
This book is a simple daily devotional for the whole year. It is geared to children ages 7-11 which I thought would be a good fit for my 8 year old daughter. Each day includes a passage of scripture (NIrV), a short message or devotional thought, and a prayer. The devotions are arranged according to various themes with each lasting a week. The themes include the Bible, the Church, fellowship, evangelism, temptation and perseverance.
My first impression is that this devotional might be a good fit for reluctant readers. My daughter (who loves to read and is probably quite a bit above “grade level”) was disappointed to discover just how little text there is for her to read each day. Also, there is only one verse, or on occasion, two verses to read each day. I would really like a devotional that had more of God’s Word in it. Again, this could be good for a child who struggles with either the ability or desire to read independently.
I do like that it doesn’t shy away from using important and possibly difficult words like “omnipresence” while also defining the term. As well, most of the devotions end with some kind of question for application — I think that that format is good for helping the child to continue to think over what he has learned even after the book is closed.
I do have one complaint about the content of the book however, which came to my attention on the very first day my daughter was using it. The verse quoted at the start of the day’s devotion is Revelation 2:19 “I know what you are doing. I know your love and your faith. I know how well you have served. I know you don’t give up easily. In fact, you are doing more now than you did at first.” The devotion for this verse states that Jesus is telling them all he knows about them, but that they did have one fault — and then tells the child to look it up to see what it is. When your child looks up the verse, this is what they will find: “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.” I must admit I was a little shocked at this content for my daughter, who has very minimal knowledge of matters pertaining to sex, let alone sexual immorality. Since this was her first day, and I was helping her along, I read the verse to her and omitted the part I found to be inappropriate for her ears. I’ve not found anything else in the book to be developmentally inappropriate thankfully.
Overall, I’m not terribly impressed with this devotional — we will keep using it however, as long as my daughter is enjoying it and until I find something else that is more suited to her.
Please note: This book was provided to me free of charge from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
How have you encouraged your children to spend time in God’s word? Do you have any recommendations for children’s devotionals or Bible studies?