The best way to get your children excited about God's Word is for them to see you engaged with it.
I made a huge discovery in January of 2010. I can take no credit for this discovery. It was a total accident. But this accident changed everything.
You see, I was just starting my very first 4-Month Bible Read Thru. I had a sense this was going to be a uniquely powerful exercise. (It was. Insert “huge understatement” here.) I decided that instead of having my early morning time in my office I would get up early, grab my coffee (an essential Bible Study Tool), sit on the living room couch, and read until my first kid woke up.
Before going any further, I should disclose that I prefer to study in my office. I love my office. The comfy chair. The attic-like feel of the slanted ceilings. The desk tucked into the corner. The silence. Love it. I didn’t want to move. But I did want the experience to be different.
My office = same.
Living room couch = different.
Back to the story…
Each morning, Sarah or Caleb (Hannah was still in a crib) would groggily descend the stairs and climb onto my lap. Sometimes they would ask what I was reading. Other times I would tell them how one of the stories reminded me of them. Most days, however, we would just sit and watch the hummingbirds come to the feeder.
It didn’t take long before this became my favorite part of the day.
What caught me off guard was how important this time became for Sarah and Caleb. They would bring it up at various points in the day. They would groan when I told them I had an early meeting and wouldn’t be on the couch in the morning. Occasionally, they would awaken at the same time and race each other to “Dad’s Lap.”
Not only did this become valuable relationship time, but it also became valuable Bible-loving time. They didn’t just hear me say the Bible is important. They saw it. They saw me reading it. They heard me talk about it. They knew that when I said I loved it, I meant it.
This taught me a massively valuable lesson:
If you want your kids to love the Bible, they need to see you loving it.
By the way, when the 4-month Bible Read Thru was complete, I didn’t go back to studying the Bible up in my office. And after what happened two years later, I think I’ll be staying on that couch until Hannah goes to college.
It was January of 2012. I was coming home 40 hours late after being trapped by a snowstorm in Chicago. (Note: If someone invites you to Chicago in January…say no. Freezing. Windy. Snowy. Yeah…just say no.) Getting off the plane seemed to take forever. The luggage couldn’t come quickly enough. It finally came and I headed out onto the sidewalk to look for a minivan holding my beautiful family. In a matter of seconds, I saw Sarah racing toward me. Soon I was enveloped in a daddy-is-finally-home bear hug.
Her first words? You can never go on another trip. Ever!
Her next words? Does this mean you’ll be on the couch tomorrow?
Yes, Sarah, I’ll be there. And I will be there for the next 14 years.
Question: Where do your children SEE you loving the Bible? If the answer is “nowhere,” what one step can you take to change that?