Why did a New Testament scholar and a systematic theologian decide to write a devotional book for children? Susan Garrett teamed with Amy Plantinga Pauw on Making Time for God: Daily Devotions for Children and Families to Share, published this month by Baker. Here, Garrett explains how the book came to be written.
"Recite them to your children," Moses tells the people of Israel after he speaks the Ten Commandments. "Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise" (Deut. 6:7 NRSV).
Like many others who care for growing children, my colleague Amy Plantinga Pauw and I have earnestly desired to do what Moses instructed. Each of us wants to give our children more than physical nurture—more, even, than love and security. We want to give them confident assurance that the Creator of the Universe knows them by name, loves them, and desires their love in return. We want to give them knowledge of the Bible, and to instill in them a lifelong hunger to know both the questions it raises and the answers it provides. We want to encourage them to follow Jesus as his disciples. We want to teach them to pray.
The inspiration for Making Time for God—the children's devotional book that Amy and I have coauthored—was born of these desires. About three years ago I set about to find a devotional guide to use with my seven-year-old daughter. We tried a guide for Christian adults, but her eyes quickly glazed over—too difficult. Then we tried several books designed to inspire and instruct children. But these were unappealing for various reasons. A few were not distinctively Christian. The Christian books treated a limited range of Scripture and topics. Some used all biblical texts as the springboard for ...1