How To Make Time for the Bible in a Busy Family

by Jenny Funderburke Smith

I have three girls—ages 12, 10 and 5. This fall all three were in a sport. The oldest made a high school JV volleyball team, the middle child is obsessed with softball, and the baby finally got to start t-ball. Between practices, games, homework and church we are constantly on the go. When you add in the fact that we are a blended family and my kids spend several hours a week in another home, free time has been sparse.

In this craziness, I felt a strong conviction that I wasn’t making time for devotional time with them. I believe strongly in spending time as a family looking at God’s word and praying together. Family worship is a great concept, but man, is it hard to pull off when schedules are non-stop. I recognize that some families choose not to be involved in extracurricular activities, and I fully agree with keeping life simple. However, my very sporty, very sociable girls need an outlet outside of school and many times those sports fields and bleachers end up being our local mission field.

I had a choice to make. I could either keep lamenting that we didn’t have time or I could be intentional about making opportunities. I decided to evaluate where in our lives we were consistently in one place and sitting still. I quickly realized that I personally am on some level of flustered from wake up time until everyone actually gets out the door with all of the things they need. I didn’t do a great job of focusing my own attention on anything, much less the kids.

Dinnertime and bedtime seems like viable options on the surface. Dinner is a little sporadic based on game schedules and quite honestly, by bedtime we are all just ready to be done.

Then I had an a-ha moment. I realized that every morning I have all of the children in the car, strapped in, with no escapes and relative few distractions. I declared that our drive to school would be our family devotional time. We keep it simple. We read either a chapter or half of a chapter of Scripture. We pick a book and walk our way through it. Last spring we made it through most of the epistles. We just finished Proverbs and started Esther this week. I ask each kid to share what they heard, what jumped out to them, or what was most interesting to them. I try to point each passage toward the gospel. I throw in theology or encouragement as it applies, and encourage them to think about how God wants to use that passage in their life that day. We all pray. Sometimes we finish the ride with worship music.

Some days are deep and meaningful and beautiful. Some days we just get through it in the midst of breaking up arguments.

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Source: Church Leaders