One of my ongoing desires is that I want my children to have a vibrant relationship with God. Part of the expression of this is a daily time of intentionally reading the Bible and connecting with God.
Over the years I have realised that how I model this daily intentional time is of utmost importance. If my kids see me prioritising reading the Bible and hear me pray, then they see this as the normal way of interacting with God.
Three mums have recently shared with me different methods that they are finding useful and effective at this time.
Ellen has primary aged children and a pre-schooler and is finding the “Knowing God Podcast for Kids” app very effective. They use it several times each week. A Bible story is read aloud over the podcast and then explained in a very child-friendly manner. There are activity sheets that you can print off about the day’s story. My friend finishes the time by encouraging her children to draw a picture of that day’s Bible reading.
Sue has pre-schoolers and finds ‘The Beginner’s Bible” on You-tube effective for when she is busy and running out of time.
Another friend, Grace, has two girls in upper primary school. They use the Discovery Bible method that is also extremely effective if you are sharing the Bible with people who are not Christians. Each time they read the Bible, this family ask themselves four questions:
- What do you find interesting about this passage?
- What does this passage show you about God?
- What does this passage show you about people?
- Is there anything from this passage that God wants you to do?
At the end of the time, they also draw something related to the passage and what they feel God is asking them to do and pray over it. This family have used this method long enough that the children automatically look for the answers to these questions every time they read the Bible.
Whenever we intentionally plan to spend time with God, the important thing is to do what works best for you. I am currently reading a chapter from the book of Acts each day. I have bought myself a drawing journal and some sharpies and I love finding the key verse from that chapter for me and writing that out each day in my drawing journal. I am enjoying the process and the freedom to decorate the page as I wish to make it look delightful. This is working for me in this season.
When Princess was very young, we used a “Little Princess Bible” that highlighted a story about a child and God and included a craft each day related to the story.
Other times we have tried different methods. When the children were learning to read and I wanted them to practice reading out aloud, we would read a chapter each day from the Bible, taking turns to read a paragraph.
When Matey was struggling to learn to read, we bought him a graphic/comic Bible which he loved ‘reading.’
Other times I have failed miserably and connecting with God has not been a high priority in my daily life. This has also been modelled to my children.
I believe that we each need to find what works best for us and inspires us the most and how we can help our children have a vibrant relationship with God. Second-hand faith is not faith at all. Connecting with God daily through reading the Bible is only part of the relationship that we want our children to have with God.
I would love to hear what works most effectively for your family during this season.