how to have dinnertime family devotions that stick

Family dinner is about so much more than the food! It's one of the only regular times we're all together. How can we use that time well? Short dinner devotions, done regularly, add up over time and can make a lasting impact! Read this post for ideas to have dinner family devotions that stick! Family dinnertime is about so much more than the food. 

It’s the only time of day when the whole family is together. Conversation, community and bonding happen around that table.

Except when it doesn’t. Not every dinner time is a glorious experience. However, the repetition of time spent together and discussing God’s Word adds up in ways we can’t always see in the day-to-day.

It’s why, even though my kids are busy teenagers, I still try to have dinnertime family devotions as often as humanly possible. 

With dueling schedules and dueling siblings, it’s not easy.

Getting everyone at the table at the same time is a Herculean feat. Having a meaningful family devotions without bloodshed sometimes seems nearly impossible.

Here’s a peek into a typical family dinnertime:

Micah: I’m done with my dinner. I’ll read the devotion.

Molly: Oh, brother, why does he always have to rush to read the devotion? Can’t we just eat and talk for five minutes?

Micah: Stop it, Molly! Be quiet!

Micah begins reading then stops.

Micah: Why is she just sitting there glaring at me?

Mom or Dad: Just keep reading.

Micah continues reading. Molly interrupts with an observation — sometimes related to the devotion and sometimes not.

Micah: Why does she always have to interrupt? I swear, I can’t ever finish without her butting in.

Molly: I thought the whole point of these family dinners is that we’re supposed to talk.

Dad: Molly, let him finish. Micah, quit whining and just read.

Eventually, the entire devotion and Scripture is read. And an amazing thing happens. A discussion begins to take place that does not end in sibling assault. They start asking insightful and challenging questions. Don’t get me wrong. This does not happen every time. (If only!) Sometimes, the victory is just getting through it.

But more often than their dad and I would predict, all the pre-devotion wrangling ends with something like this:

Molly: That was actually pretty good.

Micah: Yea, I liked that one.

And despite the resistance, we’re actually glad we persevered.

Here are a few tips we’ve found helpful over the years:

* Allow each child to choose a devotion book and take turns.

* Wait until the end of the meal. Kids need time to talk about their day and loosen up.

* Keep the devotional time short. Kids’ attention is fleeting. You only have their attention for a few precious minutes. Dragging out devotion time will usually make them dread it.

Ask a question or two to get the conversation going, but then let them carry the discussion.

Make the table a safe place. They need the freedom to talk about what’s on their minds — even if it’s disturbing for us to hear sometimes. We want them working these issues out with us — the ones who love them most and have their best interests at heart.

My kids are at ages where they question more and try to figure out what they believe. They sometimes push against our instruction – in this and other areas, as well.

It’s normal. And good. It’s how they’ll eventually — with God’s help — make their faith their own.

That doesn’t mean it’s not scary for parents. And discouraging at times. So many times we’ve wanted to say, “Forget it! This is too much of a hassle! Go do your homework!” (Okay, we’ve said that a few times.)

But I’ve learned we have to continue to persevere. To not give in to the resistance. To continue to pour God’s Word and guidance into their lives.

If we allow them the freedom to question and grapple with their faith, they are more likely to one day enthusiastically embrace their faith again.

There are no guarantees. Our job is just to keep making sure they’re well fed.

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. Isaiah 55:10-11

kids and faith

Share this post


  • Thanks for sharing about your devotional time. I think my four year old girl would really enjoy being the leader of a family discussion (she already tells us all to tell jokes around the table at dinner). Do you have any recommendations for devotionals for the under-five set?

  • Absolutely agree. Thanks Melinda for posting this. Always cool to get a peak at others intentionality with their family. Have a great day!!

  • I agree Melinda, dinner time can be used to achieve much more than just nourishing our bodies. I am learning to let go and begin showing my boys how to believe for themselves while I pray and ask God to reveal Himself to them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

i’m melinda


I’m a woman who was radically changed when the God I thought I knew since childhood opened my eyes to the overwhelming depth of His love for me. I love speaking, writing, and pointing women to the Father so they can experience for themselves the healing power of His incredible, captivating love.

search the site

Wedding Photos


Quisque maximus nibh nec ante vulputate aliquet. Aliquam aliquet nisi facilisis, aliquet sem non, 

featured posts

post categories

popular posts

Subscribe to my website for occasional emails with encouraging and healing articles and other valuable resources.When you do, you’ll receive an email with the links to six beautiful FREE Scripture printables!

Scroll to Top