Leading Your Children to Love God's Word: Part 2
Warning: reading the Bible can be risky.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)
But this is a cleansing surgery, removing the stain of our sins and drawing us closer to our Lord (Ephesians 5:25-26).
Satan does not want to see this happen. He will produce obstacles and temptations to keep you from the Bible; he will send them in the way of your children too. What are some steps you can take to encourage them in the face of such temptations?
Get her something special to encourage her, like a devotion book, or a notebook where she can record what she read and/or a note about it. I just bought these books for my grandchildren—
- My First Book of Memory Verses by Carine Mackenzie (for our first grader)
- Awesome Bible Verses Every Kids Should Know:...and What They Mean by Rebecca Lutzer (for 7-12-year-olds)
I would be happy to make these available to you; just let me know if you're interested.
Providing accountability is a great way to stimulate kids to be in the Scriptures. My dad would often ask my brother and me what we were currently reading in our quiet times. We didn’t know when these questions were coming, and we never got “in trouble” for not having the best answer, but just being asked was prompting enough for me to work for consistency. I still ask my guys this and find that it tends to motivate them to read when they've fallen away from the habit and makes for great conversation when they are reading. This is not the same as nagging. It is just usually a casual conversation starter. If they haven't been reading, they will shamefacedly admit it and then we talk about why or what to do differently (and I admit that sometimes I sing this little song they learned many years ago).
Reading or memorizing with a friend would be a great way to be accountable. Maybe two or three friends could be reading the same program and then ask each other at some point during the week how they are doing at keeping up and what they found interesting or what God showed them.
Reading or memorizing with Mom and/or Dad implements accountability for you both. If you missed this article that David Rudolph sent out a few weeks back, check it out now: "How to Read through the Bible in a Year with Kids."
There’s also a follow-up interview with the kids on the site. A couple of the children in my Sunday School class are excited about reading through the Bible this year with their dads. If you haven’t started this but want to, don’t let the fact that it’s mid-January be an excuse; just let your year of reading begin on this particular day.
Don’t be afraid of the “boring” factor, and don’t let it be an excuse for your children to stop reading. It’s okay if every day is not amazing; for various reasons (not all of which are because of our struggle with sin), there will be days and even seasons where reading the Bible is a struggle.
Persevere and teach your children to do the same. God’s Word does not return void; it will accomplish the purpose for which He sends it. The seeds of habits begun now will grow a harvest of delight, bringing forth fruit a hundredfold. Bring to God a willing heart, and He will abundantly fill you.
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:6)