Introduction: The Living Word of God
A few days ago, I went upstairs to tuck my younger two into bed, pray over them, and kiss them goodnight.
After kissing the head of my 10 year old, I entered my almost 12-year-old daughter’s room to find her waiting eagerly with her Bible open.
“Mama, I want to show you something.”
My daughter began telling me how during her Bible reading she found this verse in Galatians: “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”
Through words and tears, she described the joy she felt as she read this verse. You see, my youngest daughter often struggles with comparing herself to her older sister. No matter how often my husband and I edify her, talk with her, make room for her, and tell her how incredibly talented we believe she is, she struggles. But when she read the above verse, a weight fell off her shoulders. She realized God didn’t want her to carry this burden of comparison. The Holy Spirit through the living and active word of God spoke to her heart and she was changed.
I watched her talking to me and saw the joy and peace shining in her eyes. It was amazing to watch.
My children experiencing and interacting with God in their own personal way tops a lot of things in my life because I know their faith will survive past childhood if they experience God for themselves now. My husband and I constantly encourage them to engage Him and obey Him.
I believe knowing and loving the Word of God is foundational to a thriving, personal faith.
As you know, when we use the word “Christian” to define ourselves, we are declaring ourselves to be disciples of Jesus. A true disciple adheres to the beliefs and the way of life of the one they follow.
The best way to know Jesus’ beliefs and his way of life is by reading and comprehending God’s Word – the Bible. The best way to encourage your children to love God’s Word? Lead by example. If you love and read the Bible, your kids will be more likely to follow.
If you desire to read the Bible more often, but feel a bit hesitant, I have a few suggestions as you start:
Use a simple translation
Reading the Word of God is like anything else, it takes time and intention and there is so much to gain by simply beginning. Having a translation, such as ESV or NLT, that uses a more common speech can make reading easier. (We currently use ESV for our Seeds albums and highly recommend it!)
Read for Comprehension.
Don’t feel pressure to understand the minutia of every detail. Start with a gospel, like Luke, and simply read it from start to finish. This will help you capture the overall theme and main ideas. The more you read over time, the more you will know, and the more you will desire to deepen your study.
Start with a Short New Testament Book
The shorter books of the New Testament are powerful, but short enough to read in one sitting. For example: this month our family is reading Ephesians every day for the month of February. Reading a short book over and over for several weeks helps you see themes, allows the Holy Spirit to bring correction to your thoughts and actions, and aids in the memorization process. Like anything else, when you consume something over and over, it begins to shape you.
Now, the truth of life and parenting is that finding amounts of time to read the Bible is not always easy. When my children were small, I would get up as early as possible to spend time reading the bible before they woke. But, no matter how early I woke up, at least one child would hear me and get up, too! I had to become creative. I began writing verses on 3×5 cards to put on the windowsill in the kitchen as I washed dishes, lay on the coffee table as I folded laundry, meditate on as I ran errands, or pull out as I waited in the school pick up line. My faith grew exponentially.
As my kids have grown older, finding time can still be a challenge. Our days are still full, just different. Finding time to read and meditate seems to get pushed down on the to-do list. But, the value of developing a love for God’s Word hasn’t changed, so I constantly endeavor to make it a priority. This might mean saying no to extra sleep (now that my kids sleep as long as possible and don’t wake up at the first sound of stirring.) or no to a show after the house is quiet. Some seasons I do a great job, some seasons I do okay, and other seasons I really struggle.
Remember, the point is intention, not perfection.
The reward of reading the Word of God is great. It provides wisdom, insight, hope, great spiritual blessing, instruction, and encouragement. It provides your family with peace and joy as you live out the instructions of God.
Seeds Family Worship believes in the importance of loving and reading God’s Word and we believe in you! We are passionate about families all over the world knowing and loving the Word of God and are passionate to see you succeed. We have all sorts of products we believe in and know will bless you and your children. They will help you love and memorize the Word of God as you follow Christ. If you visit our online store, I know you will find lots of great products to love and bless your family!
What creative ways do you have for reading and loving God’s Word personally or as a family? Do you have a question? Please leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com. I love hearing from you, our Seeds Friends!