From the time my kids were babies, they've been doing a daily quiet time (QT). It was a habit my parents instilled in me throughout my childhood. It seemed a natural thing to then teach my own children how to daily commune with God through the reading of His Word and prayer.
A few years back, a friend mentioned that her daughter, then 12 or 13 years old, was about ready to start regularly reading her Bible. Observing her mom having a QT with God, this young teen girl wanted to know what her mom was reading. This was my friend's indicator that her daughter might be desiring to begin her own QT with God.
This brief conversation left me questioning myself and wondering, "Am I wrong for having my kids do a daily QT rather than waiting for them to desire and inquire?".
It's a good exercise to consider the whys behind some of the things you do or don't do. Below are the whys for helping your children establish a daily QT when they are very young.
1) Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Parents, if God's Word is upon your heart, you are to be impressing it on your children. Not forcing. Impressing. Teaching. It goes on to give a list of times that this can happen but the one thing they all have in common is that each requires that you be intentional. For the purpose of our topic, I will point out verse 7 - "...when you get up." That happens just about every day, doesn't it! Verse 8-9: "Tie them...bind them...write them..." There were specific OT customs for this but the idea certainly transcends time and culture. Make it a practice, a discipline, a habit, so that you don't forget!
2) Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go..." So much of what we teach our kids is because we know it will be of great value for them as they grow up. We teach them the necessary skills and habits that will set them up for future success. - Academics, exercise, personal hygiene, good eating and sleeping habits, etc. We don't wait for them to have the desire to learn and practice them. I'm not intending to reduce a relationship with the Lord to the same plane as other tasks of life. I'm simply thinking of Paul's words of comparison in 1 Timothy 4:8 "Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things..."
3) Establishing a daily QT for your child to be personally fed by God is a way to nourish their hearts and minds producing the most fertile ground possible to grow an appetite of desire for God. Personal QT is one of the best times for the Holy Spirit to whisper into the tender heart of your child.
4) We live such hurried lives. Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." A busy life easily forgets about God. Establish for your child a lifestyle of intentionally setting aside unhurried time with God. You want them to grow into adults that don't easily forget about God and to miss Him if they begin to neglect Him.
5) My own children have never viewed personal QT as being "forced" on them. It's always been a way of life. At this point in their lives, they can't imagine starting their day without time spent in His Word and prayer. Besides, dad and mom should already be modeling QT as a delightful commitment.
Part 2 - Preparation for a Daily Quiet Time
Part 3 - Tips & Resources for Daily Quiet Time for Kids