If you’re reading this, chances are you have a high value for the bible and, you’re married, possibly with children. And, if you are like me, you may find that having a value for something and living that value out don’t always coincide. Read on, dear reader, and together, I think we can help one another establish reading the Bible as families.
For me, it was partly the conviction of not doing it coupled with the thought that bringing my children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord included teaching them about God through His Word. Something inside of me said that it’s a good thing to read and have the Bible as a regular part of my family’s life.
Early in marriage, Sarah and I would go through very sporadic times where we talked about a passage together, but didn’t really read the Bible as a couple. Albeit, it was very fruitful when we did.
Then. Came. Hannah.
Kids add another dimension. Knowing it is my responsibility to train the little people, and that the Bible had to be central in that, I gave it my best college try. What happened should not be discussed publicly. It was like a dormant volcano erupting in the most inopportune time. The point where I should have been the most saintly, I was anything but.
Here I was, the “Man of the House” conducting my “Manly” duties when a toddler not listening gave way for my anger to explode. I’d try and get mad at the kids for not listening, or Sarah for not helping more, or myself for not doing a better job.
The reality is that in the beginning, it’s going to be just like Jesus’s birth in the Bethlehem stable: little, rough and ugly. But over time, when you keep with it, beautiful rhythms can emerge and the times will become prized portions of your week.
Enter Ed, Dennis and Steve.
I ended up at Beth’s dining room table for a Saturday morning Men’s breakfast where Ed talked about his practice of daily devotional times with his family before breakfsast. That was my first dose of vision.
Dennis and Steve led seminars at Kansas City’s MPE Homeschool Conference on Family Worship in April 2013 and 2014. Steve even had a daily challenge for fmaily’s who would do it for 6 months in a row. Taking some of their advice and through trial and error (ok, MUCH error), I’ve come up with 10 tools that will help you nail this over the long haul.
I’m going to give more detail on the ten points, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be on your way to establishing a regular rhythm of Bible reading/study in your home. If you want an eleventh, it’s grab another guy and talk to him about doing it, pray for him and ask one another about it. Try it for a month. Then talk with the Lord and your spouse. I think you’ll be surprised how fulfilling it can be.
P.S. You probably have other problems or unique challenges around family reading. I’d love to know and will use your input to further develop it.