14 Aug 2019
Has anyone seen the car keys? I know I had them yesterday … Depending on the age of the children in the house, the ‘obvious’ places to look may be down the back of the sofa, in a dressing-up handbag, buried in the garden, or underneath a sprawling heap of backpacks, lunchboxes & trainers somewhere between the front door and the kitchen table. The frustration of losing something really important mingles with weary resignation of knowing that this isn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last.
Similarly, round about now, in houses up and down the land, Christian parents are wondering “Has anyone seen my Bible time routine?” I know I had one once …. Maybe you haven’t seen it since before you had kids. Or maybe you had it just the other day, but then the holidays started and now it’s nowhere to be found.
When we lose the car keys, we get on and look for them. Why? Because if we’re blessed by having access to a car that makes our lives easier, we’ll make every effort to be able to use it.
We don’t say:
• Let’s just walk everywhere rather than looking for the keys. Sure, hunting for the keys is time-consuming and difficult. But walking everywhere, for ever, even when it’s raining, when we don’t need to is worse.
We know that we need the Bible and prayer. They are essential for our own spiritual growth, and for helping our children to meet Jesus and learn to follow him. Fighting to make time with God in the day (on our own, or with our children) is time-consuming and difficult. But trying to live out of our own resources, without the wisdom of God’s word, without enjoying the comfort of his presence, without bringing our needs to him in prayer …. that’s much, much worse!
• The kids keep hiding the keys, so I’ll wait till they are older before we try driving again. Sure, preventing things from going missing can be tricky with small people in the house. But we don’t stop trying to keep track of important objects.
Similarly, Bible time with young children can be tricky, and we might be tempted to wait until they are older. But the sooner you start (or start again) the sooner they get used to the idea that ‘Bible time is just something we do in this family.’
• I’m bound to lose the keys again so let’s give up the car completely. However frustrated we are by the repeated loss of the car keys, we don’t abandon all hope and give up entirely.
However many times you’ve tried and failed to do Bible time, starting again (whilst knowing that it’ll probably go wrong again) is still worth it. Every single time we read God’s word it does us good. We will probably never establish the perfect routine, but never mind - Just do something, sometimes. Don’t give up!
If your Bible time routine has gone walkabout this summer, let today be the day when you begin again. All you need is a Bible (and – for family Bible time – a child or several)! Read a Psalm. Notice something about how great God is. Talk to him about what you read. Congratulations! You just found the most useful thing you’ve ever lost.
If you’d like more resources to help you with family Bible reading, why not talk to other parents in your church about what they use, ask your children’s worker or church leader, and check out the following:
For Pre-schoolers: Beginning with God (Books 1, 2 & 3)
For 7-10s: XtB and Table Talk Mixed ages (3+ to adults):
The Wonder of Easter (intended as Lent devotions, but the cross and resurrection are wonderful at any time of year!)
For more resources click here!