How many of you remember a time when you were little when your parents would have you pick out a book and read it with you before bed? You know, when you were decked out in footie pajamas, and could hardly see over the kitchen counter. My family didn’t have a designated reading time when I was little, but those times that we did sit down with a book were so special to me. I remember one book in particular. It was a small blue hardback book, covered in some type of cloth. I have no idea where this book has gone or where I could find another. But I remember flipping through the pages and reading the nursery rhymes as I grew older in age. I also remember special times of having my dad read to me even when I was in middle school (I had a hard time reading the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo, and it was one of my dad’s favorites). That time we shared together was very special and brought us closer than we already were. I also remember spending the night at a close friends house one time and sitting down with them during a family devotional time.
Parents, I beg you to spend such precious time with your kids! Jason and I both are very adamant that God’s Word should change your life, and that’s Biblical too. And it does just that if you are constantly reading it and learning to apply it to your every day life. Like with anything else, the more you repeat something, the more learned or the more of a habit it becomes. That’s why little kids do number drills in school, or math uses flash cards over and over, and teachers often say “repeat after me”. Studies have even proven the fact that the more you repeat something, the more you retain that knowledge. It becomes “second nature”.
If anything should be second nature in our lives, it should be God’s Word. It doesn’t just happen. In fact, it takes lots of work if you really want to know the Word well. If you haven’t started to really know the Bible yet, start with small steps first. If you’re too ambitious, you may never even complete your goal. Did you know that you only have to read 3-4 chapters a day to read the Bible through in a year? That’s only 10-15 minutes a day, depending on how fast you read.
So why not make this a habit with your whole family? No time is too early to start reading the Bible to your children. In fact, it’s commanded in Scripture! Deuteronomy 11:19 says, “Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” God’s Word should permeate every part of your lives! So whether your children haven’t even been born, they’re newborns, toddlers, young children, preteens, or teens, read God’s Word together. It is the only true foundation to any family and any life.
As parents and future parents, we should be in the business of raising wise, godly adults, not merely “good kids”. Following Christ has nothing to do with good behavior. If it did, then Jesus did not set a good example, because He had a habit of breaking the rules (for a guy who’s not supposed to do anything on the Sabbath, He sure did a lot of it!). Following Christ has everything to do with surrendering your life to Christ and allowing the Spirit of God, Who dwells inside of you, to rule in your life. How can we live such lives if we don’t even know anything about God? Child rearing trends and fads will go in and out of style, but God’s Word is timeless and true. If there’s one thing that you should do as a parent, this is definitely it!
Find out some general benefits of reading to your kids from an experienced parent here.