6 ways to help your children engage with family bible time.
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Do your kids do ANYTHING but sit still when you whip out the bible? Do they suddenly decide that they are desperately thirsty and hungry and need the toilet and need to shout and run and play… all because you have brought out that lovely, life-giving book?
We tend to do family bible time over the breakfast table, We have done for a few years now, but still, the kids decide that they just cannot sit still for the full 10/15 minutes it takes to read a little and discuss a little!
Why is that I hear you ask?! I believe that the devil wants desperately to distract us from these precious moments. He knows that every time a bible seed is planted, it produces life. So, he pulls out all the stops!
What can we do to help our children learn to focus on God’s word? Here are a few of my thoughts…
- Be consistent.
We have found that sitting down at roughly the same time every day helps the kids to know what to expect. It also helps us all not to forget that God comes first! Don’t give up if you feel that “it is not working”. Push through, I promise the rewards are beautiful!
- Give it flavour!
I don’t mean that you should add to the bible, but give context, add some “imagine if you had to do it that way…” and some “that reminds me of what you went through the other day”… This might just help your children to understand that this book is alive. You could also use an age appropriate devotional study to help with this.
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A couple of studies we have really enjoyed as a family are “Indescribable” by Louie Giglio and “Our 24 family ways” by Clay Clarkson. I would highly recommend both of these studies for families to do together. These books have both really helped bible time to be fun and relatable for the kids. They have also gaven my husband and I a brake from thinking up the questions all the time! .
- Be a bible lover.
If you want your children to love the bible, then you must set that as a culture. You must love the bible first. They are more likely to learn to love the bible if they can see that your love for God’s word is real. You can’t fake it with kids! They know when you are pretending to love that carrot stick and not be too fused by the chocolate bar! Same with the bible, they will know if you are faking your love for God’s word. Make sure you have time and space to enjoy the bible by yourself.
- Ask questions.
Get the kids to do some of the talking. They love to be given the honour of teaching! Let them answer some questions and show off their knowledge. Some questions that work well are; “Tell me the story I just read in as much detail as possible”, “What did that story remind you of?”, “What did that make you feel?”, “How can this story help you with what you have on today?”, “What do you think God is trying to tell you through that passage?”.
Pray for your children that the Holy Spirit would come into their hearts and minds and then they will fall more naturally in love with the bible. Pray against distractions and interruptions during family bible time. Prayer really does make a difference. It is our way of going to God with a problem before jumping in to solve it all by ourselves.
- Give grace.
So, 90% of the time, your kids will be fidgeting and moaning but give them some grace. Be gentle with them just as Jesus is gentle with us. Don’t let it get you down when you think they haven’t listened for the 10th day in a row. You may be surprised how much has sunk in through the distractions!
So, these are just a few thoughts on getting your children to focus during family bible time but let me know what works well for your family.
As always, I am praying that you see God moving in your family and that you are blessed on the journey.