How did 5 ideas to inspire our children to read the Bible start?
By making my bed every morning.
I am not a morning person. In fact, I am in awe of people who greet the morning with eyes wide open and a charming smile. I often think that waking up is an accomplishment in and of itself and any attempt to fake happiness at 6:00 am is an exercise in futility. Having made my peace with the fact that I am a morning grouch, I have developed a morning ritual that helps me cope with the wee morning hours.
An important component of this ritual is the making of my bed. With eyes half shut, I make my bed before stumbling out of my room (sometimes before stumbling out of bed). Once the bed is made, a sense of serenity sweeps over me. Something about plumped-up pillows and a smoothed-out comforter makes me ready to face my bathroom mirror- nothing prepares the mirror for facing me, though!
Monkey See; Monkey Do.
One morning, I failed to make my bed. It was hard to wake up that day and I must have “snoozed” the alarm a dozen times. The last glance at my alarm jolted me wide awake, and I started to mentally count down the minutes I had left before dashing out of the house to take my son to catch his school bus. And so, the bed-making was sacrificed as I sprang to get ready.
You could imagine my shock when I returned to my bedroom and found that my bed had been made. For a second, I wondered if a magical bed fairy accomplished the task on my behalf as a reward for all my years of tidiness.
It was not a magical fairy.
It was a better surprise: after years of witnessing my morning ritual, my son made my bed and stood next to it, with a proud smile, to surprise me.
I was surprised. Happily surprise and very touched by his gesture. When I asked him why he had made my bed, he told me he “sees me making my bed every day” and wanted to help me when I could not.
As the saying goes: Monkey see, monkey do.
What else had he seen me “do” over the years? I wondered?
I am a bookworm and I spend any “free time” nose deep into one of the many books that are living on my virtual Kindle bookshelf on my phone. However, what my son sees is “mommy on her phone”. He does not see “mommy reading a book”.
He certainly does not see “mommy reading the Bible” because my Orthodox Study Bible is ALSO on my phone.
All he sees is “mommy on her phone”, (mommy is also on social media on her phone lest anyone believe I am immune to the call of the sirens).
That morning, when he made my bed, I reflected on the other rituals that I should visually share with him. I resolved to attempt to read a printed Bible and not an e-Bible.
I want that image imprinted in his mind and in his heart. How wonderful would it be to see him eventually pick up his Bible without my instruction and open its pages?
If he “sees” me reading my Bible, he might, in turn, automatically read his Bible as a ritual. However, if that does not become an automatic impulse,
Here are 5 ideas to inspire our children to read the Bible.
1- Purchase a child edition Bible and make an event out of it. Help your child write his name on the first page and the date when the Bible was first opened/read. I have attached some examples of children’s Bibles at the end of this article (*affiliate links*).
2- Set a daily Bible reading time: after school or after dinner and set a timer, start with 5-10 minutes, and build up in 5 minutes increments.
3- Set a weekly Bible lesson for the family where the child becomes the teacher and leads the Bible study. The child can either recount what she/he read all week or just conduct the Bible reading during this session.
4- Find child-friendly movies of the passages the child has read that week and make it the “movie night” of that week. There are many Superbook episodes on Youtube, for example.
5- Reward! Determine what is appropriate for your child in terms of how many chapters they must read before we give a reward and ensure that the reward is spiritual (a small icon, a cross bracelet, a storybook).
My son’s favorite Bible when he was younger!
As the Biblical saying goes:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Other posts you might enjoy: Preaching by example
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Karen Lucille Gross
Wow, this story really moved me! My kids are grown up now, but what did they see of me? When they were young enough to want to help, but their “help” generally slowed me down, and Mommy was always in a hurry. Then when they were old enough to help, we moved to a house that didn’t have an “Open Concept” floor plan, and the kitchen was closed off. When I would ask them to help, they would do the one thing I asked, and then disappear again.
My husband once told me that he thought our kids would see what a hard worker he was and be grateful for what he provided for them. He was hurt when I told him that from their perspective, Daddy was not home.
I can really relate to your realization that your son doesn’t know what Mommy is doing on the phone, he just sees Mommy on the phone. Your determination to be a better role model by switching to a print Bible is very good advice. At my house, Mommy was always on the computer. I tried to always give them my full attention when they came to talk to me.
Thank you very much for opening your heart with and for taking the time to share your experience. I truly appreciate it and I have greatly benefited from your wisdom and words of encouragement. Thank you again and God bless you always.
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