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Laying the foundation early for your child’s spiritual life development is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Children need to grow up experiencing God’s Word at a young age as part of their normal, everyday life.
As a mother, you have the opportunity to model what that looks like for your child throughout your own walk with God, as well as deliberately incorporating specific times during the day to read the Bible. You can also discuss various Bible stories and personal applications regarding what was read that day to your own child’s life.
Regular Bible reading for family times should be a consistent part of your daily routine. For some, this means the father reads a passage around the dinner table from the Bible, and then the family discusses it during the meal. For others, this could be having a morning or evening family devotions time where the Word is read and family members discuss what it means to them in their lives.
If you have very young children, still allow them to be a part of these times, even if you are unsure whether they understand the content yet. By exposing them to the Bible being read and having devotional time being a part of their daily routine, reading the Bible on their own as they get older will become a natural part of their walk with God.
It is also very important to read Bible passages and stories to your children no matter how old they are. Bible reading for family time at night can be done as part of the night time routine. Many parents do this by purchasing a children’s Bible and reading from it every night before bed. This provides the opportunity to talk about the stories, the people present in them, and what God did in all of those situations. It also allows for personal application and a strong segue into nightly prayer times.
If you have older children, let them read to you from their Bibles and then discuss the themes from each passage with them and any questions they might have. The Mini Ark offers free Bible stories – features fully illustrated that you can use during family devotional time and for children to read.
Finally, as your children grow, it is important to teach them how to read the Bible on their own. You can do this most effectively through letting them observe your own devotional time, and then setting a specific time each day for their own devotions. When your children are a bit older, a kids’ study Bible will be a wonderful tool to use, as they typically include easy-to-read and understand passages, as well as relevant life applications and spaces for children to write down comments and questions. Equip them with a kid-friendly journal where they can think, reflect and pray about what they’ve read, and also provide them with a highlighter so they can highlight and underline verses that are especially meaningful to them.
The key to helping your children learn to read the Bible is to have devotional time and study opportunities be a regular part of their everyday lives. Children learn best through modeling and consistency, and your influence as the parent will have a great impact on their overall walk with God. Bible reading for family time and devotions will have an eternal purpose in the lives of your children.