“I think I know Jesus now,” my four-year-old proudly announced. With a wide smile, she held up her storybook Bible in one hand and her pocket-sized Bible in the other. (Apparently, she thought owning more Bibles meant she knew Jesus.)
I smiled enthusiastically. Yes, her four-year-old theology of what it means to know Jesus was incorrect, but her initiation provided an opportunity to share the gospel. “Tell me about it,” I asked her.
From there on, we had a short, but wonderful discussion of what it means to really know Jesus. And I was overjoyed to see the spark of wonder in her eyes as we talked about Him.
What a joy!
On another day, while I was busily moving around the house, I noticed my seven-year old happily reading on the couch. I paused for a minute and smiled. She wasn’t just reading any book.
She was reading my Bible. When she finally noticed her proud mama was watching her, she looked up from the book and shared that she was reading a chapter in Psalm.
What a joy!
Though my youngest daughter, who’s two, isn’t old enough to read books, she enjoys looking at them as well. One day in particular, as I was washing dishes, I overheard her talking by herself in our dining room. Out of curiosity, I took a moment and quietly peeked around the corner. To my delight, she was sitting down with my open Bible and praying with her tiny hands folded together.
What a joy! All three of my young daughters are finding enjoyment in God’s Word.
There are many challenging days as a mom, so I relish these sweet moments.
The truth is, I sometimes wonder if any of my gospel-centered attempts sink in, but then, God allows me to witness these precious moments of planted seeds finally taking root in the lives of my children.
These moments are like wildflowers unexpectedly popping up along the way in my journey of motherhood, encouraging me to keep going. To keep planting. To keep passing down the baton of truth.
It doesn’t happen without a lot of intentional prayer and work though.
In the book of Judges, we sadly read about a generation of Israelites who did not know the Lord because of the preceding generation who failed to tell their children about the work of the Lord.
“And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”
Judges 2:10, ESV
As Christian moms, we are called to nurture the physical, emotional, and spiritual growth of our children. Most especially, by teaching our children how to read God’s Word.
If you’d like to start reading the Bible with your children, I want to encourage you with these five practical tips:
1) Pray before you read the Bible.
Pray during your own time or with your children before you read. Ask God to help you with the patience and wisdom you need. Ask God to give your children a spiritual hunger for His Word, and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate their understanding of Scripture.
2) Start somewhere and embrace imperfection.
The goal isn’t to perfectly read the Bible everyday with quiet and attentive children. The goal is to start somewhere by taking just one step of obedience that will hopefully turn into many more steps.
3) Incorporate Bible study into established routines.
It’s extremely difficult to make changes in our lives, so try and incorporate Bible readings into daily or weekly routines. For example, I find it easier to read the Bible at breakfast with my daughters while I sip on my coffee. Also, my husband recently began incorporating nightly devotions with my daughter right before we tuck her into bed.
4) Take one verse at a time.
Value depth over abundance. It may be better for children to listen to one verse at time and maintain attention to a discussion about it than read an entire chapter. Use discretion because it truly depends on your children’s attention span. Proverbs is a great book to focus on one verse at a time.
5) Trust in the power of God’s Word.
We can’t comprehend how God will use His Word in the hearts and minds of our children, but we must trust in His work by faithfully sowing truth.
Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “’For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.’”
Moms, let’s persevere in this work together. Even on difficult days when our children are distracted or misbehaving. Let’s trust that the Lord is at work, amid our weak attempts and imperfect days.
Let’s pass on the baton of truth by helping our children know the Bible.
“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.”
Psalm 78:4, ESV
Today, I invite you to download the newest FREE Bible study, “Biblical Motherhood” in the Library of Downloads page. In this two-week study, you’ll learn from several mothers in the Bible and apply Biblical truth to the challenges of motherhood. This study also includes a short prayer for each day.
Also in the Library of Downloads page is the “Pray for Your Children” Prayer Guide.
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