Bible before breakfast!” she told me “That’s the rule in our house. No Bible. No breakfast!” Her children were young and she was sincerely attempting to train her children to be in the Word every day.
It sounded good to me!
I came home and shared this great idea with my husband. “What do you think?”, I asked “Maybe we should try enforcing that in our home.” As we continued to discuss the matter, we became convinced that it was not the direction we wanted to go. Brian quickly reminded me that our desire was that our children grow into their own walk with God. It wasn’t something that could be forced. Having time in the Word is something that is vital if a believer is going to grow, but it must come from their own heart that hungers for the Word.
What can a parent do to encourage their children to be in the Word of God for themselves?
- Pray. Pray that God will open your children’s eyes to the need they have for a Savior, and that He would create within them a desire to know Him by reading His Word.
- Set the example. You must make it a top priority in your own life to be in the Word and nurture your relationship with God. You can set the tone for the home by being eager to be in the Word and fighting for that time.
- Have family bible time. Carve out some time to be in the Word as a family. Make sure you use age appropriate materials and allow them to take part in reading and discussion. Be sure to apply what you are reading as a family to their lives, no matter what age they are.
- Keep your eye open for bible studies and devotionals. As your children learn to read for themselves, you can provide age appropriate resources for them to use on their level. Rather than forcing them to read what you buy, give it to them as a special gift and just make it available to them to use when they are ready.
- Be patient. Each child is different and will grow at different rates. As much as we wish we could control our child’s heart, we really can’t. We have to wait for God to do His work in His timing. For some that will take years. For others it will happen at a very young age.