Family life is extremely busy, and it’s hard enough to do all that we already have to do without adding pressure to make sure our kids are reading the Bible. It can feel like another thing we have to do. We need to just pause and step back from life for a bit and write down our priorities for our kids. You can talk them through, but I think actually writing them down is good.
Ask yourself What do I want most for my kids? If we’re Christian parents, we want our kids to know Jesus, we want them to be saved. Sometimes just writing that down really helps to reorder our lives. We want them to be healthy, we want them to do well at school, we want them to do well in sports, we want them to have good friends—but all of these have to come under the good of their souls and their spiritual needs. I just find writing things down brings clarity. It can all be a little bit mixed up in your head, but when you see it in black and white you can evaluate if your priorities are off.
Make a Plan
So, once you’ve written your priorities down, you need to plan. You can say, Yep, I believe that’s my priority, but without a plan, it’s not going to happen. So, help your kids. Sit down with them and say to them, Our greatest priority in life is that you know the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Here’s how we’re going to try and help you, and we think Bible reading is the key thing here. We’re going to try and make sure, in our family, that there’s a time in the morning or in the evening where we will all be doing our Bible reading.
Or if you can’t do it together, then help the kids find the right time in their schedule and provide resources for them—like Meeting with Jesus or Exploring the Bible. These help kids to have a structured plan to work their way through a book of the Bible or the whole Bible.
Then take an audit. You can have a priority and you can have a plan, but if you don’t check up, then it’s probably going to fall by the wayside. Sunday is a great day for this. When you come home from church and you’re relaxing, just invite your kids to talk about Bible reading. Not in like a legalistic, harsh, condemning way, but by asking What did you learn this week? What questions did you have?
You can have a priority and you can have a plan, but if you don’t check up, then it’s probably going to fall by the wayside.
If kids know they’re going to be asked about it, then they will more likely do it than not; and then, you can have good spiritual discussions. Adding Bible reading into your family life needn’t be a huge addition to life in terms of time, but it can be a huge addition to life in terms of your kids’ spiritual welfare.
David Murray is the author of Meeting with Jesus: A Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids.
God is working in and through the daily, faithful, consistent discipline of Bible reading—even if it’s hard to see it in the moment.
Pray, have a plan, be patient, and be positive. You will meet him in his word.
The worst thing you can do when you read the Bible is to read it passively or thoughtlessly.
Help your family establish regular devotions through realistic aims, a clear plan and direction, and stimulating interaction with Scripture and prayer.