Let the Children Come Unto Me | Vogelstein, Oil on canvas

“Aw, mom, can’t you read us a little bit more?” they begged from the back seat.

The nearly two hour drive from our home in Pittsburgh to visit my family in Ohio had gone by in a flash as I told the riveting stories of Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob, in complete, colorful detail to my 4 intently listening children.  My Bible sat open on the empty seat beside me, so I could reference it as needed, and as my children devoured the words and begged for more, I was reminded again of the importance of feeding their spirits with the word of truth.

As stay-home moms, during these precious years, we spend more time with our children than anyone else does, and because of this, we have opportunities given to us than no one else has.  What a privilege and a high calling!
How will we spend these days–days which will add up to weeks and months and years?

This year, I was challenged in my own spirit, to nourish my children (now 7, 5, 3 and 1) daily in the Word of God.  I wanted to fatten them on scripture~to build and stretch their spiritual muscles as their own bodies grow and change, almost before my eyes.
It began with a simple goal of reading the Word either at breakfast, or lunch (or both, if possible) when I sat down with them around the table.

Me, reading aloud.  My children, listening.
Together–feasting, sharing, growing.

This ritual quickly became one of the most precious parts of my days home with them.  I’ve watched as my 7 and 5 year old have drawn, on their own, the most beautiful and accurate truths from the Word of God, connecting stories of Abraham and Isaac to Christ Jesus, or Joseph’s time in prison and eventual release and rise to power with Christ’s own death and glorious resurrection.

I want to encourage you busy, barely-surviving mamas–feed them the Word!

Why should you make it a point to sit with your kids (yes, even those wiggly little ones) and read to them, straight from the Bible?

1. Because your time for sitting and reading aloud is already severely limited in this busy stage you are in, and you need to be very choosy in what you select to read to your kids in the first place.  There is only so much time to sit and read.  Why not open the Word first and lay for them a “firm foundation?”

But why the Bible when there are so many other great chapter books out there?

2.  The Bible is the #1 all time best selling, most-read book on the planet.
It is, secularly speaking, a classic.  It’s the ultimate classic. It’s the greatest story you could read to your kids, so the real question is why don’t we read it more often, and longer, and more thoroughly?

3.  It is, spiritually speaking, LIFE.  It is living and active and can teach and impart life and change hearts long after the reading of it is done.  It keeps speaking even after we’ve closed the covers of its pages.

4.  You should read the Word to and with your kids because, right now, you are probably struggling with keeping consistent time with the Lord and in His Word anyway.  Let’s be honest.  “For everything there is a season.”  What do you think God expects of you in this utterly exhausting season you are in?  So often, as moms, we beat ourselves up over things like this–but the Lord?
He is a gracious God.
And he understands where you are.

If there is anything I have loved, it is a good, in-depth Bible study.  To dive into a book of the Bible with my heart and journal open, a stack of commentary beside me, and half a day to sit at His feet and read, glean, write, learn.
But this is not that season.  I think it is unrealistic, for example, to expect nursing mamas who are already up 3 times a night, to get up extra early to read the Word.  I think God understands that when you finally get all your kids down for their nap that you’ve got about a million other pressing things that have to be done before they wake up.  I think he gets it when we are just too plum tired to get out the door for an evening Bible study.  Our Lord understands the demands and challenges stay-at-home / homeschooling moms face–rarely being able to get a moment alone, particularly when our children are young.  These are the years when long periods of alert alone-time with the Lord are just plain difficult.
It’s hard to get away from our kids to even go to the bathroom in peace!

But… we CAN sit with our kids and read WITH them, can’t we?
 We CAN snuggle them up close, and while they look through their picture Bible, perhaps, we can read them the words of truth right off the page of ours.

As a Christian parent, it is my heart’s desire for my children to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  To grow in the grace and knowledge of the One who created them.

We are told in Revelation 19:11-16 that Jesus himself is first called “Faithful and True” and also, “the Word of God.”  What better way to encounter Christ himself than to saturate our hearts and minds, and our children’s, with the Word of truth?

And here is the beautiful thing~the Word is the Word no matter what age you are!  He who IS “Faithful and True” will minister to YOUR heart right where you’re at, at the very same time He ministers to your children right where THEY’RE at, for this living book {which is Christ himself} transcends age and time.

So don’t beat yourself up, mamas, that you never seem to have enough “quiet time” to sit and read a while from the Word.  If that is the stage you’re in, I encourage you to be flexible and teachable, and open the Word of God with a child (or two) on your lap, and just embrace this special season of growing together, side by side, in Him.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”  
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
John 21:15

Jesus answered, “Let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 
Matthew 19:14

Practical Helps:

In the very least, we make it a point to open the Word together at least once a day, preferably during a meal-time.  This has been the easiest, least-complicated method for us: I read from my Bible while the children eat and listen. We talk about and explore the passage together.

But when we have the time, we also enjoy these Bible study tools for children:

Betty Luken’s Felt Story Boards
These are the same ones many of us remember from Sunday School when we were kids.  And while it takes some time to prepare the felt pieces before-hand, this has always, always, been my children’s favorite way to hear (and see) a Bible story.  Our set is well-loved and well-used.

Bible Study Guide for Children
This curriculum has an accompanying page for each story that is read.  We’re giving it a try this year, and so far, my kids have greatly enjoyed this teaching aid. It keeps my Kinder and 2nd grader engaged and listening.  They color and respond to simple questions during and after the reading.

For 3rd or 4th grade on up:  The Dig for Kids comes highly recommended.  I am drawn to its simplicity.  A chapter is read, and the children find the “treasure” buried within.  What’s not to love?

Bedtime Reading-Favorite Bible:  The Jesus Storybook Bible
Why do we love it? Because every story really does whisper Christ’s name, and this beautiful children’s Bible does an amazing job of showing how each beloved story in the Old Testament pictures Christ.  You will be blessed as you read it along with them!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to trusted products I highly recommend.

2 thoughts on “What Busy, Barely-Surviving Moms Should Be Reading to Their Kids

  1. Pingback: Curriculum Choices and Recommendations 2014-2015 ‹ The Art of Heart & Home

  2. Amy Maze

    So true! I do Bible memory verses with the kids while they eat breakfast and then my husband reads to them at night (often while they are eating a snack before bed…I agree about the eating while reading idea!) I do read lots of other things to them, but completely agree that the Bible should be a regular sound in their ears. Thanks for sharing another wonderful post!

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