“What material do you and John use as a couple for devotions?” I received this email question from a young husband/pastor who was seeking suggestions for he and his wife’s time of devotions. My husband, John Greening, suggested that I post my reply as follows:
“John and I have done various things for devotions during different stages of life. When our children were at home, we had family devotions and did not do solely husband/wife devotions. When they were young, we read a story from Egermeier’s Bible Story Book every day. For fun at other times we would play Bible story charades and listen to children’s tapes that had stories and songs reflecting Christian principles and character qualities. As the children approached middle school ages, we read from Proverbs, in a simplified English version, a chapter a day corresponding to the day of the month. Also, I can remember us reading to them sketches on animal traits that paralleled Christian character qualities that I believed was published by Bill Gothard. Also we read literature to our children such as Pilgrim’s Progress and books by C.S. Lewis.
As the children got into their older teens, John and I resumed devotions as a couple. We read from various devotionals and books, discussed the content, and prayed. In the past few years we have read books about the storyline of scripture, particularly Jewish literature on the Old Testament by Joseph Telushkin. His works add depth of meaning to the law, which translates into our greater personal appreciation for grace. Also his books address moral character. Earlier this year we read through the book of Acts that correlated with us helping with a nearby church plant. Currently we are reading a Psalm a day and lyrics that correlate with that Psalm from a Christian Psalter, published in 1934. I don’t know if your wife enjoys reading, but John and I have enjoyed reading Tolstoy in our free time. (With your young family, you probably don’t have an abundance of free time.) Admittedly, John and I are unconventional so you can take or leave this description. If you are interested in doing a study on the family, RBP has two family studies available by very capable authors, Dave and Carolyn Culver. Their children have chosen to follow the Lord and are serving Him full-time wholeheartedly.”
Daria Greening, GARBC Resource Center
Editor’s note: Do you have suggestions for devotional materials/practices that you’ve used with your family? Take a moment to reply to us. We’ll compile a list and publish them in the next Synergy.