I would like to come to you today sharing how we have the perfect family Bible and devotional system down pat. It’s flawless and we’ve used it for the last 10 years. But that’s not true. You can read in our homeschool life schedule that our normal routine had been to read the Word together at every meal and during read aloud time.
We fell off our family Bible time horse and have desperately wanted to get back in the saddle.
Confession: Why we stopped having family Bible time
Like most important things that get pushed out by messy life, we never intended to stop reading the Word together as a family. However amidst my last pregnancy, my other blog that wildly turned into a full-time business, and my husband’s job that put him on mandatory night-shift overtime for over a year which left me feeling much of the time like a single mother, we let our family Bible time slip away.
Isn’t that just like the devil? A slow chip, chip, chip, and wearing down around the edges?
The enemy is crafty and will slowly chip away at anything we’re trying to do for the Lord.
Remember, those little foxes? We had let too many little foxes, and granted some great big ol’ fat foxes, steal our most precious daily time. I can blame the devil, but I still have to take personal responsibility. My husband and I have to take responsibility.
Developing a Family Bible and Devotional Time that Works for You
Putting our foot down. My husband has been able to take some time off from work on FMLA since we’ve had Amelia. While he has been off we’ve been assessing what our family needs and what areas we need to come up higher in. Obviously the biggest glaring issue pulling on both of our hearts is the lack of time our family has spent together in the Word. We have had enough of that!
Decide for change. We had to put our foot down and say that enough was enough. We didn’t want to watch our family slip farther and farther away from reading the Word together. We still read the Word during our personal time with the Lord, but there is something so powerful in a family sprawled out with Bibles and hearts open together. Time slips away, next thing we’ll know our children will be gone into the world. We want a lasting family legacy of being God chasers – together!
We want a lasting family legacy of being God chasers – together!
Commit to your children. We told our children that we needed a change, and we confessed that we were wrong. We admitted that we had let too much of LIFE take over our lives and we needed to get back to putting first things first – like family time in the Word. *Remember, it’s always important to confess to your children when and where you are wrong. My hope is this lights a fire and hunger in our children’s memories that they will always have a family Bible time with their children – no matter how messy life becomes.
Make a plan as a family. Our new plan has been to have time reading the Bible together aloud as a family after breakfast each morning. I would love to get back to reading the Bible after every meal, but for now I’m thrilled to be developing our after breakfast routine. I made a large Bible bag with a Bible for each reader in our family along with several Bible story books for our younger children. The little boys (2 & 3) have the fun job of handing out Bibles. After Bible time is done they put the Bibles back in the bag. This gives them a special job to look forward to completing.
Pick your battles. We decided to let our two-year old come and go as he pleases (there are only so many battles that I can fight ;)). Our 3 and 6-year-old have to stay at the table and listen quietly (let me add that the 3-year old is almost 4). Usually Liam climbs back in his booster seat at some point while we’re reading, otherwise he sits on the kitchen floor and plays with Thomas trains. He is still hearing and he is still in the room. And hopefully one day soon I’ll say today is the day that Liam is staying in his chair.
Dive In. And we just dove back in. We started reading with the book of John and read 3-4 chapters together each morning. I also read a few martyr stories from our beloved book Jesus Freaks. We’ve read through this book each year for the last 5-years.
When it’s hard. I’m not telling you that deciding to spend time reading the Bible as a family each day will be easy. Actually, it’s usually the opposite. The enemy doesn’t want your family growing in the Word together. I have found that there’s a Murphy’s Law for Bible reading time. Whatever can go wrong, spill, cry, or possibly explode (diaper wise especially ;)) will. I have to set my face like flint that we will read the Bible! Each morning when we’re done I’m sure to praise the Lord with the children that we did it!!
My prayer is that this post encourages someone. We fail and pull ourselves back up to model grace, grace, and more grace to our children often. How our family gets Bible time done may not work for your family. You may need to try reading in the evenings, or during read a loud time. I would love to work back to reading at every meal again – that’s my goal. I admit that we’re not there yet. However, it is a wonderful testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness that even during our too long of a season of not reading the Word together our older boys (9 & 12) still had their time with the Lord each morning. Praise the Lord for His mercy and goodness.