Making Family Bible Time a Priority
Our family time is pulled in so many different directions these days. We know we need to be in the Word of God more often, but we struggle with finding the time to do it. There are jobs, school schedules, sports and other extracurricular activities. And sometimes we just need to shut it all down to relax.
One way to spend time in the Word and to deepen your family’s relationship with God is through a Family Bible Time. Your plan can be as simple as setting aside 15 minutes to meet together to read and talk about the Bible and pray. The time can be first thing in the morning or just after dinner, for example. If every night seems unrealistic, why not try beginning with three times a week and adding more nights as you are able? Be sure to minimize distractions by turning off and putting your phones in another room.
How to get started
There are many ways to organize a Family Bible Time. You could start with a theme, such as Easter and explore the Scriptures and talk about that holy time of year. You also could choose a chapter of the Bible to read and discuss together. Engage young children by asking them to draw about what you read. Another idea is to structure your study around a devotional guide. Devotionals that are geared for families have activities, real-life examples and memory verses that are especially relatable for children.
Learn verses together and make it a family challenge to see who can recite the memory verse first. Perhaps you can offer a small reward such as time off from chores for a day or even a back rub!
Ask open-ended questions related to what you cover in the Bible. Don’t look at this time as a class with you as the teacher and your kids as the students. Instead, try to establish an atmosphere that invites everyone – young and old alike – to express their views and to ask questions.
Don’t discourage tough questions. God likes us to ask questions. He can handle all of them! If your child stumps you with a big “Why?”, you can always research the answer together or discuss it with your pastor.
A meaningful and fun part of Family Bible Time is that it can expand into new ways to live out your faith. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or for an organization that provides toys or school supplies to needy children are examples of how your family can “walk the talk.” Helping an elderly neighbor with chores or errands is another example.
Close with prayer
Make prayer an integral part of your Family Bible Time. Create an environment where everyone feels safe communicating their thoughts and feelings to God. Be honest with what you tell God and support each other in prayer. Never use this prayer time as a way to discipline or manipulate your kids – give them the freedom to talk with Him.
Having a regular Bible time can have a significant impact on your family. You will notice your own spirituality deepen as you foster the same growth in your children. George Mueller, a 19th-century evangelist, once wrote, “The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts.” When you model your love for God’s Word, you will help your kids love and respect it too.
And the best part is that you can count on God to bless this precious time. You will be amazed at the opportunities for further growth that open up when you seek Him.
Here are some Family Bible Time devotions to consider.
Growing the Fruit of the Spirit: A Guide for Family Bible Time by Kris Cox and Kris Hage
All Together: The Family Devotional by Steve Legg and Bekah Legg
ESV Family Devotional Bible Hardcover by ESV Bibles by Crossway
The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget by Tim Shoemaker
Family-Time Bible in Pictures by Kenneth N. Taylor
One Year Book of Family Devotions by Tyndale House Publishers