Each night after dinner, we spend an hour or so reading with our kids before they go to bed. Everyone picks a book (or two or three) and we snuggle into the couch. We read all kinds of things, from fairy tales to the Charlie Brown encyclopedia for kids. The topics our children are interested in are vast and varied, it seems to have no boundaries.
Of all the things we read, The Jesus Storybook Bible is among my favorites. The first time I opened the pages and began to read, my eyes filled with tears. It is beautifully written and the love of God, His plan to rescue us, is woven throughout each story. By design, we read a part of this book to our kids each night before we read any other. Even now, I am trying to instill in my children’s hearts a love for God’s Word.
I am fortunate to come from a family that values God’s word. From the time I was small, I remember my parents helping me and encouraging me to memorize Bible verses. As I grew older, I began developing the habit of reading small portions of the Bible every day. I firmly believe in the power of Scripture, and, from my own neglect and distraction, I know that my heart is an empty well without it.
As a mom, my strongest desire is for my children to know God’s love and to love Him in return. I do this by helping them bury the Word of God deep into their sensitive little hearts. This is the only thing that I know of that takes me and my own faults out of the picture and leaves my children’s hearts firmly in God’s hands.
One of my favorite Bible verses was one I memorized as a teen. It is Hebrews 4:12 and it says:
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” There is no better compass to direct our hearts.
To be able to say the right thing at the right time is pretty cool. Sometimes I try to think of things to say in advance so that I can come to a conversation prepared. If only it worked! My words often fail, but God promises that His words will not return void. It is in this promise that I place my trust; it is this promise that I cling to when I consider my family and all that I desire for them. I am careful to keep it a priority.
However, even though I believe this with all my heart and I deeply desire it, I sometimes struggle. There are mornings that I can’t seem to wake up. There are days when I re-read the same line several times without remembering what it said. When I allow myself to think, “Oh, I’ll just fit it in later,” later never seems to come.
Now that all three of my girls stay in their beds until at least 6:00 am (you feel me on this, right?), I am trying to get up at 5:30 to have my own time with God before their day starts. Even though it’s early and my brain isn’t always fully functioning, it is my only chance to not be distracted. To make this easier, I go to bed early. I finally decided that I was content to go to bed at 8:30 pm if it meant I wouldn’t miss my 5:30 am date with God. Sacrificing sleep doesn’t work for me. So I decided to sacrifice my evening TV time instead.
Different stages of life may call for different routines and what works for me may not work for you. But I encourage you to find something that does work and to sacrifice whatever you must to see that you also make your own time to dive into God’s Word each day. As my friend Courtney Dyer recently said on a guest post – it may mean no other books before the Bible, or perhaps no breakfast before the Bible, but whatever it takes, do it! Do it knowing that God’s Word always produces fruit.
What does feasting on God’s Word look like for you?