As our children grow and are able to reason more we begin to add on to the foundation we've laid with God's Word. While I do not think that there is a magical devotional formula that will produce godly character- just opening our Bibles and sharing God's Word is key- I wanted to share what is working for me.
One of the resources we have used for years is “For Instruction in Righteousness”* by Doorposts This resource is worth it's weight in gold. Tom still teaches through entire books of the Bible, but during our school time I'm the topical gal.
The busier I get the more I appreciate resources in which everything is pre-prepared. The study topics are broader than I might find by doing a word search on my own. For example, when covering Arguing and Contention the study will also include verses on Pride, Selfishness, Anger, Gossip, Brawling Woman, Bitterness and Unkind Speech.
While our methods of helping our little ones retain the information changes with different seasons (at times we have had them draw a picture to illustrate a verse, or as they grow we might have them look up and read a verse) the continual focus on God's Word and submission to His wisdom is like the seed we use in hope of future fruit.
I once heard John Mac Arthur teach on evangelism. He used the example of a sower sowing seed in good soil. Behind him was his little boy mimicking him. While the sower cast the seed out with skill, the little boy was just kind of throwing seed everywhere. Some would hit his dad in the back, some would get in his hair, but some would land in that good soil. And you know what, it produced a harvest. It wasn't this little boy's skill that produced the harvest. It was that he was sowing in good soil, had good seed and of course that God Himself sent the rain.
Don't worry too much about having the right technique. We are told that God's Word will not return void and I believe that.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deut. 6:6-7
*The books topics include:
Pride, Self-Righteousness, Shifting Blame-Making Excuses, Hypocrisy, Stubbornness-Self-Will, Disobedience, Defiance, Scoffer-Scorner, Arguing-Contention, Complaining-Ingratitude, Brawling Woman, Vanity-Overconcern for Beauty, Judging Others, Selfishness-Greed, Confidence in Riches, Envy-Jealousy, Covetousness, Theft, Rules for Borrowers, Easily Swayed-Double-minded, Fainthearted-Easily Discouraged, Depression, Fear, Worry-Anxiety, Laziness, Unfaithful Employee, Haste, Impatience, Anger, Gluttony-Pleasure-Seeking, Immorality, Sinful Thought Life, Immodesty, Wastefulness-Carelessness, Drunkenness, Lying-Deceit, Dishonesty, False Witness, Gossip-Slander-Tattletale, Meddling-Busybody, Foolish, Unclean Speech, Flattery, Hatred, Bitterness, Hitting-Biting-Kicking, Revenge, Cruelty-Bullying, Unkind Speech, Insensitivity-Lack of Compassion, Bad Friendships, Poor Manners, Teasing-Troublemaking