05 Oct Growing Together Devotional Review
I was recently sent a beautiful hamper of Struik Christian Media books which I have slowly been working my way through, and one that immediately caught my eye is the lovely, Growing Together is a devotional featuring devotions for all families by Ewald and Beatrix van Rensberg.
This devotional has been created with traditional, blended, single-parent and broken families in mind and hopes to provide impactful devotions that will help draw your family closer to God. Packed with 52 devotions, this is a fantastic weekly activity that encourages families to pause from the hustle and bustle of juggling work, school, and extracurricular activities to bond, discuss and explore our relationship with God.
I really love how simple and easy this devotional is to use, it features conversation starters, bible verses, stories and more. Each week, family members are encouraged to share the best and worse moments of their day, and my favourite is the prompt for family members to share where they encountered Jesus and to talk about something or someone that reminded them of Him. This small and simple prompt encourages us to look for more of Jesus in the people we encounter each day and has a pleasant impact on our day-to-day interactions. From there, the devotional takes you through a Bible reading, followed by a story, a fun activity, a prayer, a prompt to partake in random act of kindness and a section for parents which provides tips and advice for reinforcing the lesson of the week, with a space to write down notes.
Devotional time as a family can be an incredible way to encourage children to grow and explore their faith. As we already know, children learn from what we do, and by giving them the opportunity to observe and learn from us during devotional time, they too are encouraged to seek Him in their own quiet time and are familiar with how to praise, pray and worship our Father. I really love that devotional time encourages children to turn their eyes to Him, and gently creates the practice of spending time in His word, learning, meditating, seeking and praising Him for His works while also making God the centre of family time.
Personally, I find that creating time for family devotions has meant forcing myself to step away – both mentally and physically – from the other distractions in life, and allows me to spend time openly chatting and encouraging my children to explore their relationship with God.
I recently learnt that my 6-year-old son is too shy to pray, and prefers when I pray for our family because he feels that there is a right and wrong way to pray, so I have been spending more and more time encouraging him to pray and showing him that praying is simply talking to God. This sort of conversation was only prompted because my child feels safe and secure in discussing matters of faith – it’s not something he would have openly admitted to other family members or a teacher, and it’s something that he could have very easily grown up believing if it weren’t for our family devotional time. Now, I am ensuring he has the tools so that he can build and explore his faith confidently, not worrying that he will be judged by the size of his prayers.
Growing Together is a fantastic addition to any bookshelf and has proven to be an amazing resource for families who want to actively seek time with Him. I love the important conversations it has prompted and that it mindfully helps both children and parents navigate this special time spent with Him, as a family. Besides the insightful lessons and stories that this book hold, it also encourages families to practise kindness and to look for Him in each and every day, transforming every encounter into an opportunity to connect with God.
Do you make time for devotions, as a family? I would love to hear what books and resources you’re using, how has it helped your children?
I’m a Jesus-praising, beauty-obsessed, plant-crazy, career-driven, soccer-loving, tattoo-craving, picture-taking, mom of two.