Family Bible Time can be rough sometimes, can’t it? Do you ever feel like you’ve failed when it comes to consistently teaching the Word of God to your kids? You’re not alone!
Welcome to episode #2 of The Family Bible Connection Podcast with Laurie Christine! If you prefer to listen, rather than read this blog post, you can listen here:
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Do you want your kids to KNOW the Bible and GROW in their love for God & others? Do you want to prepare your kids to GO into the world as passionate followers of Jesus? Then The Family Bible Connection is for you! I’m your host, Laurie Christine. Through interviews, instruction and inspiration, I will help you connect with your kids and create a Christ-centered culture in your home.
IN THIS EPISODE…
In Episode 001 of the Family Bible Connection, we talked about the importance of teaching the Bible to our children. We answered the question “Why.” Why is it important to have an intentional family Bible time with your kids? You can read the blog post and listen to Episode 001 HERE.
In this week’s episode, we’re going to answer another question: “What.”
- What are family devotions and what do they look like?
- What are some of the barriers and challenges we face in trying to consistently spend time in God’s word together as a family?
- What if I’ve failed?
WHAT IS FAMILY BIBLE TIME?
What are family devotions and why are they important? Family Devotions, quiet time, Bible study, Family Bible Time… there are many different names for this special family time. Basically, when you tell your kids it’s time for “Family Devotions,” it means you are going to sit down together as a family and study or read God’s Word in some way.
You might read a chapter from a children’s storybook Bible, such as The Jesus Storybook Bible or The Big Picture Bible. You may read a section of a daily devotional for kids such as Louie Giglio’s book Indescribable: 100 Devotions for Kids About God and Science. (My boys love this book, by the way!) Or you may read a few verses or a chapter directly from the Bible.
Whatever type of content you choose, make sure it is based on scripture, and not just morality lessons. You can find a list of my favorite resources for Bible study HERE!
Intentional family bible time creates a natural environment in which to connect with your kids.
Intentional family Bible time creates a natural environment in which to connect with your kids and have deeper conversations about spiritual topics on a regular basis.
If you establish a routine of spending intentional time in God’s Word as a family when your kids are young, spiritual conversations will become a more natural part of your family life as your kids grow older.
Additionally, you are able to guide your children through the process of learning how to study the Bible and spend time with God on their own. Taking responsibility for your own faith is an essential part of growing up to be a mature follower of Christ.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES AND BARRIERS TO FAMILY BIBLE STUDY?
What are some of the barriers to spending time in God’s Word together as a family? Maybe you’re simply too busy, and there are not enough hours in the day. Maybe it’s not something you consider important for your family.
Perhaps you feel like you don’t know the Bible well enough, or you don’t know where to start. Or maybe, despite your best intentions, your kids are out of control and they refuse to sit still and listen! (Ahem. I don’t know any families like that!)
It’s not always easy to push through the chaos and doing what God has called us to do.
You’re probably thinking: “You haven’t been to my house. You don’t know my kids. We’re lucky if everyone brushes their teeth once a week!” As a mom of four boys (currently ages 4 to 10) I get it!
Here’s what family devotions often look like in our house: one kid is jumping on the sofa, one is hanging upside down by his knees while his face turns tomato-red, one is wiping a booger onto his brother… oh, and one almost certainly is not wearing any pants! Sound like your house? I am right there with you.
As parents, it’s not always easy to push through the chaos and do what God has called us to do.
WHAT IF I’VE FAILED?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said something like: “I know I should be reading the Bible with my kids more often, but…” Cue the guilt. Well, guess what?
God gives so much grace.
We’ve ALL failed at this thing called parenting (in more ways than just the area of Bible teaching), but God gives so much grace. While the Bible is clear that we need to teach our children about God, there is no formula that explicitly states HOW we are to teach our children.
There is a lot of room for grace in this area! There is no verse that states “You must read exactly one chapter of the Bible together as a family every single night before bed.”
In II Corinthians 12:9, God says to the apostle Paul: “ ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
Mommas… hear me on this. This is revolutionary. God does not expect us to have it all together! When you feel overwhelmed and you just want to throw your hands up and cry out to God, “I can’t do this!”, God looks down at you and smiles and says, “Yes! You finally get it! You can’t do this. You need me every minute of every day. But guess what… My grace is all you need. My power works BEST in weakness.”
So, what do you do when you see a gap between what the Bible teaches and what is actually taking place in your family?
The first step is to ACKNOWLEDGE the importance of teaching our kids about God—about his glorious works, his power, his commands and his love. Decide if this is a value you want for your family. (If you’re still reading this booklet, you probably already have this desire!)
The second step is to ADMIT where we have failed. Admit that the reality you see in your home does not line up with the desires God has placed in your heart. Without God’s strength, we are completely helpless to do what God has asked us to do. But God is at work in your life, and he will give you the desire and power to do what pleases him! (Philippians 2:13)
The third step is to ASK God for grace and wisdom to teach our children the truth of God’s Word and to model to them the depths of God’s love. God promises to give wisdom to those who ask for it! (James 1:5-6)
The fourth step is to ACT. Start small. Start by reading one verse with your kids, every day for a week. If you’ve never opened the Bible with your children or read a Bible story to them before, keep reading this booklet! I will go into more depth on how to get started, as well as tips to help you make it fun for your kids.
Lastly, trust God to ACCOMPLISH his purposes in the hearts of your children. While we do have a responsibility to teach and train our children, God is not limited by our shortcomings.
God chooses to use imperfect people to do his work. Ultimately, there is nothing we can do to assure the eternal salvation of our kids. We need to continue to trust God and hold our kids in an open hand. (I Corinthians 3:5-7)
The following Bible verses will give you further ASSURANCE as you continue to trust God to work in the hearts of your children:
I Corinthians 3:5-7
“After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow” (NLT).
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (NLT).
“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (NLT).
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind” (NLT).
Here’s my challenge for you this week:
- Start small – if you’ve never had a consistent family devotional time, try reading writing out a verse on a 3×5 card and reading it every day for a week.
- Dust off the Children’s storybook Bible and read one story this week.
- If you’d like further help in getting started, download my FREE EBOOK, How to Engage Your Kids in Family Devotions.
WEEKLY BIBLE VERSE
I Corinthians 15:58
“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (NLT).
Feel free to print out this prayer and use it to pray for yourself and your children this week!
“Lord, I know that you want me to teach my kids about you, but I fall short so many times. Thank you for your grace that is new every morning and your strength that works best in my weakness. Please fill me with a desire for your Word so that my passion overflows into the lives of my children. You have promised that nothing I do for you will be wasted. Please bless my efforts and use me to lead my children closer to you. Amen.”
Thank you so much for joining me for Episode #2 of The Family Bible Connection with Laurie Christine, where I will help you connect with your kids so that you can help them connect with Jesus.
If you enjoyed this episode, I would love for you to subscribe to the show, leave a review in itunes, and then share this episode with a friend!
If you would like additional FREE resources to help you create a Christ-centered culture in your home, CLICK HERE.