I am a huge fan of family devotionals. To me, it’s not the formality of it that’s important, but rather the subtle and not so subtle messages having regular family devotionals give to your kids. If you didn’t grow up having devotionals in your home, you may be a bit intimated by the idea. Perhaps you feel you don’t know enough yourself to be teaching your kids about the Bible. I am confident you can do it, but I totally understand wanting the reassurance a family devotional book can give.
Since I am always on the lookout for resources to help you on your Christian parenting journey, I was excited when given the opportunity to review a new book of family devotionals. Kingdom Family Devotional by Tony and Jonathan Evans has a format that I really appreciate. Not only does it contain enough devotionals to last an entire year, but each week has a theme and within each week there is a devotional for five different days.
I love the idea that each week your family can focus on one topic. So for example, one week your family can focus on self-control and another week spend the week reflecting on what it looks like to be a godly woman or a godly man. It encourages the readers to spend time outside of the actual family devotional time talking about and thinking about the topic for the week. I would think it could be a great motivator for parents to take advantage of the teachable moments that week a little more intentionally.
I also like the organizational aspect, although I wish there were also a sixth devotional for the weekend. I am not the best at starting new habits and if you give me two days off each week, the odds greatly increase I will stop. Although the devotionals each week are tied to each other by the theme, I believe they can also stand alone. If you have a week when everyone is sick for three days, you can pick up with that days devotional and not be clueless. I hope if they do a later edition though, they consider adding a sixth day option (I can understand skipping Sunday).
Now for the not so great news. My issue with many family devotional books is that they are light on Bible. This one tends to be particularly light most days. With a few exceptions, most devotionals involve only reading a verse or two of scripture. Granted that may be more than your kids are currently hearing, but with over two hundred Bible stories your kids need to have heard and processed in just a few years, one verse a day doesn’t cut it in my book.
I also felt the content, discussions and activities were uneven. At times, it reads like the devotional is for a preschooler and then the next might be more appropriate for a tween or teen. I understand the issue of varied ages, but there are better ways of hitting multiple age groups in a family. I was also a bit confused at the lack of consistency with activities. Some days have them and others don’t. The vast majority of the activities given really have little educational value. A few are actually object lessons which are okay if your kids don’t understand the concept. I would have liked to have seen an optional activity for each day that also required family members to move through higher levels of processing what was taught. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. They just needed someone to give them a little more educational guidance.
My bottom line on this family devotional book? It’s good for helping you develop the habit of regular devotionals. It’s great for helping your family focus on a different godly principle or command each week. It’s rather basic in the depth of the content – perhaps better suited to new Christian families or for families with young children who have had little real exposure to scripture. If your kids are older or know the Bible fairly well, you may want to get something with a lot more scripture and better ways of processing it to produce those higher levels of thinking about God’s Words. If you still want it for the organization, just be aware you will need to add some more Bible, deeper questions and more educationally valuable activities.
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.