Spending Time In God's Word With Your Children
Spending time with your children in God’s Word opens up invaluable opportunities to dive into God's story, which in turn creates moments of conversation, insight, and transparency.
Even though we are a family for whom our faith is very important, we recently realized that time spent reading Scripture as a family had slipped in our priorities. When our children were little, we barely had to think about reading our Bible together as a family. We just did it. It was part of our bedtime routine. We tucked them in, read a Bible story, prayed with them, and that was that.
But things can change when your children get older. It's easy as your children age (we have teenagers) to neglect the important practice of gathering together to read the Bible. Schedules are busier and we are often spread out more and more in the evenings. It's a rare night when all four of our children are in the same place at one time. But we realized this rhythm that has been so important to our family over the years had become too infrequent. And so we did something about it.
My husband and I decided that instead of waiting for the rare days when all of us were home, we'd gather together at 8:30 each night for Bible study, no matter if one or more of our children are here or not. We typically sit on our bed or in the kitchen sitting area and spend time reading through a New Testament passage then read 1-2 Psalms. Our girls take turns reading, or my husband and I will also read at times if they are tired. It's not a long time, maybe 10-15 minutes tops, but long enough to connect with them spiritually and hear from their hearts in a way that we would otherwise not if we didn't carve out this time. One of our girls closes our time in prayer and they go about their routine.
Being intentional about setting aside time to read the Bible, tell your children the stories, and apply this to their lives is critical in their spiritual development.
It's easy as parents for this regular commitment to slip away. Busy schedules, wanting to just relax or to go to bed, and just not having much energy at the end of the day all tend to work against us. But making time to have a spiritual conversation around God's Word is worth it! I can't say that enough.
When we allow our schedules to keep us from a consistent time of Bible study with our children, we can tell a difference in our children and our interactions with them.
One specific way we've watched this renewed commitment to family Bible study is how it has impacted our 10-year-old daughter's prayer life. We've had moments of reminding her of who and why we pray and have watched her really mature in this area of her faith.
Maybe you're reading this and feel convicted because you too have had seasons where this important spiritual habit has faded a bit. That's OK! The key is to make a change. Renew your commitment to gathering as a family around the Bible. Make a plan. Follow through. You'll be glad you did.
Try it today. The time we chose works for our family, but a different time of day may work better for you. When I was growing up, we had this time at breakfast; my mom or dad reading a devotional as we ate. There are so many variations but I encourage you to not let this practice drop off...pick it back up over and over again.