Friday, August 9, 2013

Family Friday - Getting the Word Into Them

Today I wanted talk about children and Bible reading. As I began to collect my thoughts for this post, I realized that this is something I have talked about before, on my own blog. So today's article is a repost of something so important to me.

Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do. I am perfectly happy without the tv, just give me a good book. I love Christian fiction {think Little House on the Prairie type books}, devotionals and of course, the Word of God. My husband always laughs and tells me that I should read slower to get my money's worth from the book. {smiles}

My passion for reading has spilled over to my daughters. They love to read and you often find them with their nose in a book. At bedtime, my girls are allowed to lay in bed for thirty minutes and read after I tuck them in. Most nights I walk past their room an hour or even two later and they are still in there with the lamp on reading, because they lost track of time or couldn't put it down. {just like mama} Because my girls love to read so much, it is very easy to encourage them to read the Bible.

My boys are a different story. My youngest does enjoy reading some, but hey, there are more "boyish," dirty, outside things he'd rather do. My oldest son absolutely hates to read and will do anything to avoid it. Getting a thirteen year old who cannot stand reading even a cereal box and has ADD to sit down and read the Bible is quite the challenge. 

How can we encourage our children to read the Word when reading is not something they enjoy?

  1. Don't set unobtainable expectations. Encourage them to start small, like just a couple of verses a day.
  2. Read with them. While we need to do devotions as a family, each individual person needs to have their own time with God. However, if your child cannot read or is like mine and just hates to read, read a few verses with them, talk for a moment about the verses, then simply say, "I am going to step away now so that you can reflect on these verses and talk to God."
  3. Lead them by example. Our children mimic what we do. No matter what age they are, we are an example to them. If your child sees you in the Word, they will be in the Word.
  4. Get an age appropriate devotional for them that has short lessons.  Currently I am doing The Dig with my kids. The Dig has short lessons and each lesson has some scripture. Even though the lessons are short, they could still be divided up into a couple of days if needed.
  5. Remind them that they don't have to read all at once. God loves it when we spend time with Him throughout the day. We don't just have to have a thirty minute or hour quiet time in the morning and that's it! Kids' attention spans are short anyway, so if they simply spend five minutes reading one verse and praying and do this five times a day, that is twenty-five minutes with God. Plus it will help them to keep their focus on God all day long, not just in the morning, or bedtime.
  6. Read "regular" books often. Read story books as a family. Last year before bed each night we read the Wizard of Oz together. One chapter a night that I read to the kids. The more you read together, the more they will come to like {or at least tolerate, smiles} reading.
  7. Make the stories come alive. If your child is reading in Daniel, take some time one day and act out the story as a family. It brings the story to life for children. It can also be a fun thing to do for daddy one night.
  8. Pray for them! Pray that God would give them a desire and passion for His Word. Pray that God would help you to be the example they need.
These are just a few ways to help your children get into the Word of God. What other ideas do you have for helping your children read the Bible?

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