Here’s a shocking quote from Mark Harper from SuperChurch.com .
“Most Christian kids do not read their Bible. They know the stories, but they grow up in church and never pick up a Bible to read on their own.”
Guilty! I have read Bible stories and devotions faithfully to my children for years. They know the Bible stories, but as long as I continued to read to them, they had no need to read or grow on their own.
When my kids were babies, I fed them. Now they are older and they can feed themselves. The same is true for their “spiritual food” – The Bible. My kids are all teenagers. I want them to know and love the Bible for themselves.
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
How do we raise our children to know and love the Bible? It seems the best answer is to raise them to “know and love God”. But how do we do that? The two go hand-in-hand. If we know and love our Bible, we will likely know and love God.
Raising our children to know and love the Bible, comes from setting aside time for God. We need our kids to see us reading the Bible. Do you have a routine for breakfast or at bedtime? Use that time for God. Bedtime is great because most kids will do anything to stay up an extra 5 minutes to spend time with you – and God.
If we all develop the habit of God-time while our children are younger, hopefully they will long to continue the habit on their own as they become independent readers. Encourage older children to read the Bible on their own. And it’s OK if you continue reading with them in addition to their own God-time. Kids ask great questions, so allow time for discussion. You’ll be amazed and challenged too!
I recommend two Bible translations for kids who are old enough to read. The NIrV (used in BigKZ at SonLight) is for independent readers ages 6-10. And the ESV Student Study Bible (used in Youth Ministry at SonLight) is great for ages 10+.
David writes about God’s Words in Psalm 19:10,
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
And finally, Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.