What I Really Think About Kids Devotional Books

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A few days ago, I asked Facebook readers for suggestions of devotional books for kids that we could use during family devotion time. I got a lot of great responses and am looking forward to checking them all out!

Someone also left the comment that they weren’t currently using a devotional but simply reading through a book of the Bible. It reminded me that I should probably clarify how devotional books fit into our Bible time with the kids. :)

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Bible-based “storybooks” and children’s devotional material can be very helpful in getting your kids to understand a Biblical truth on their level. Our family treats them as supplemental material in addition to reading through the Bible with our children. We know that nothing can quite measure up to the Word of God!

As far as reading straight from the Bible, we have gone through some of the Psalms and Proverbs with our kids, as well as the book of Luke. They are 6, 4 and 1, and so we read a short passage each day and talk about it. We just finished up The Story Bible from Concordia Publishing House, which I would highly recommend {this is different from The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Big Picture Story Bible; they all have such similar names!}. If you’ve not done devotions with your children before, here are my suggestions for getting started!

After our Bible reading {or sometimes before bed} we use a children’s devotional book. We’re pretty picky about what we use, because we’ve found that some Bible-based books are either inaccurate, leave out key components of Scripture or are basically self-help tips for kids. Here are a few suggestions for what we believe a good solid kids’ devotional book should include:

  • Key truths of Scripture – these include redemption (God’s plan of salvation through Christ), the visitation to Mary by the angel (signifying the virgin birth), the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus into Heaven. Let me know if I’ve missed some that you feel are important!
  • Good balance of law and gospel – when a devotional book turns into lesson after lesson of “this is what you can do to please God” or “if you love God, you’ll act like this“, we choose not to use it. When a book reflects the fact that we all fall short of God’s requirements and are in need of salvation through Christ and then explains His sacrifice and love for us, that is a very balanced message!
  • Accurate stories – as you look through the devotional book you’re considering, it’s good to take a moment to notice whether the stories being shared are accurate and not outrageously embellished. 
  • Engaging and practical encouragement – Reminders of God’s love and forgiveness are things we as adults need daily! When they’re expressed in a simpler way for children, along with helpful and beautiful illustrations, devotional materials can truly be an encouragement for our little ones! Devotions that include questions, further Scripture passages to be read or activities that can be done to bring to life Biblical truths are a great complement to the time you as a family spend in the Word.
Now it’s your turn! What books you use for your devotional time with your children? What factors are important in choosing the ones you use?



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Jenn

Blogger/ Author at The Purposeful Mom
Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm happily married to my college sweetheart, mother to four wonderfully spunky children and a woman who needs a whole lot of Jesus! I spend most of my time taking care of my home and family, reading good books, blogging and dreaming up ways that I can finally have a perfectly organized home--ha!

Comments

  1. says

    I absolutely agree with having a good balance between law and Gospel. In devotional reading for my children, our primary goal isn’t behavior modification, but a closer walk with Jesus, understanding what He has done for us. Found you at the Women Living well and Raising Homemakers linkup, and now following you on pinterest.

    • says

      Yes, I love that! “Not about behavior modification.” I can find plenty of that in secular books, I don’t need it in my children’s devotionals ;) Thanks for following!

  2. says

    I love this! We are trying to get on track with more family scripture study time and I often wish we had a morning devotional with the kids (ages 6, 3, and 1), so thank you for these links and suggestions!

  3. says

    Oh dear, I’m guessing that was my comment. I hope I didn’t come across wrong!

    I actually was just looking up your post because I wanted to link to the Bible Story Book you recommended. It is by far my favorite of any I have seen and I love the idea of using it to supplement just reading the Bible together. :)

    • says

      No worries, Anna! It was great inspiration for me to write a post about what I think makes a good devotional for kids :) Love ya!