Reading the Bible is really important for our kids’ growing faith. But you might wonder, “how do I get my kids excited about reading the Bible?” Even if you struggle with your own devotional habits, learn how your child can enjoy reading the Bible in this post!
When I was a kid, my mom used to read us a Bible storybook before bedtime and pray with us too.
But as I got older and more self-directed, I never developed a devotional habit for myself. It wasn’t until I was in college that I learned how to read the Bible daily!
Now as a mom, I don’t want my kids to make the same mistake. Not only do I want to read the Bible to them, but I want my children to learn to love the Bible for themselves!
As Christian parents, we all want our kids to love God’s Word and enjoy reading the Bible. But there can be stumbling blocks in our way.
Why It Can Be Hard for Kids to Get Excited About Reading the Bible
- They might think it’s too boring.
- The Bible may seem hard to understand.
- They might have trouble making it a habit.
- Our children may not love reading.
I want to cover these stumbling blocks in a couple of posts, and share HOW to overcome, because I truly believe that when our children are given the tools and techniques they need to make reading the Bible a habit, that they will grow in their love for God’s Word and WANT to read it!
We may find our own devotional life improves in the process too!
So let’s break these down, one by one.
These tips are mostly appropriate for parents with kids ages 3-14 (since that’s the age range my four children are, that’s what I have experience in teaching!).
The last stumbling block has its own post!
1. How to Help a Child Who Thinks the Bible is Boring
At first glance, the Bible can look like a big mess of names, places and historical events that seem to have little to no relevance to our lives.
But when our kids start to understand the Scriptures in a greater context, it can make the Bible more exciting and have deeper meaning.
Kids don’t usually have this “complaint” until they get a little older and have moved beyond story Bibles. So here’s what you can do if this comes up.
The ESV Following Jesus Bible is a great help to your kids in getting them to understand the Bible’s “bigger picture”.
It’s designed for kids ages 8-12 as they transition from children’s storybook Bibles. There are:
- Kid friendly Bible maps and historical timelines
- Following Jesus Sections with practical applications for God-centered living
- Introductions to each book of the Bible
- Seeing Jesus sections, which help your child understand how the whole Bible points to Christ.
Here are a couple of pics of our son’s ESV Following Jesus Bible (I’d definitely recommend the hardcover over paperback for durability!)
**Prefer not to order from Amazon? You can find the ESV Following Jesus Bible at Christian Book Distributors website too!
|ESV Following Jesus Bible
Are your kids between the ages of 3-8 and struggling to want to read the Bible with you? Try the Jesus Storybook Bible! It teaches them the main point of the Bible–that Jesus is the Redeemer–and ties it into every Old and New Testament story. Plus the illustrations are really unique and the Biblical accounts very engaging!
|The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
By Sally Lloyd-Jones / ZonderKidz
Remember too, that sometimes our kids will use “the Bible is boring” as an excuse.
If that happens, have a talk with them about that. It may be that they believe the stereotype that this Bible is nothing but an old, boring book of rules. Or maybe they’re going through a crisis of faith or a struggle with understanding God’s Word.
Which brings me to the next stumbling block….
2. What to Do When the Bible Feels Hard to Understand
There is a lot I could talk about regarding this topic, but I’m going to keep it to one narrow “part” of the topic right now, which is what to do when our kids feel like the Bible is hard to understand or read.
If your child feels this way, try having them start out reading a brief passage in the Bible and asking three questions:
- What does this verse/passage teach me about God?
- What does this verse/passage teach me about why we need a Savior?
- How does this verse/passage apply to my life? (How can it help me to live as a Christian?)
This may not be as easy to do in books like Numbers or 1 and 2 Chronicles, which is why I suggest starting by reading certain specific books of the Bible FIRST.
Yes, God’s Word is living and active and it ALL benefits us! But there are particular books of the Bible that can help form a greater pictures of Scripture and that can be a bit easier to wrap our minds around, especially for kids!
Bible reading plans give your kids specific direction in this area!
I’ve created a set of printable Bible reading plans for kids (ages 8-14 independently, 4-7 you reading with them) that include a bonus study guide page and sermon notes!
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE!
3. Make Devotional Time a Habit
One of the best ways to raise a child who loves the Word of God as an adult is to make Bible reading a daily habit.
A lot of times we can get pulled into thinking that if we expose our kids to Christian “activities” like Sunday school, Wednesday night programs, and church attendance, or send them to a Christian school that that takes care of their faith.
But if we really want our children to have a personal, growing faith, time in the Word is the most important thing they need. It is permanent and unchanging, though other activities may be fleeting. It is the source of LIFE!
By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. 2 Peter 1:3, CEB
If you want your kids to start making devotional time a regular habit, here are a few things you can do to help!
- Help your kids understand what they can gain from having a regular devotional time. This method works best if you’ve been reading Bible stories to them all along, but if your family is fairly new to the faith, this can be a motivator as well.
For instance, a lot of pre-teens have questions about who God really is and wonder about His plan for their life (even if they don’t tell you that!). Encourage them that by spending time in God’s Word they’ll understand Him more, have better wisdom in making good decisions and learn what God’s will is for their lives.
- Share with your kids what God’s Word means to you and how spending time with the Lord and in prayer has changed you or comforted you.
- Love and respect God’s Word yourself! Continue to make time for reading or discussing Scripture as a family. Discuss the verses that you read together to apply them to your lives.
- Help your kids set aside a quiet time. If you have mixed ages of kids like I do, it may help for you to do devotions with your younger kids while your older children go off and read the Bible on their own.
- Teach Bible reading skills; for instance, by using Bible reading plans!
- Create a system of accountability, but don’t be legalistic or super critical when they miss a day. Use the accountability as encouragement; even adults need accountability for all sorts of things!
As our kids get older, they have to learn how to organize their time. Just like when we start habits as adults, it takes time, but the more they practice, the easier it will get!
The last stumbling block I want to cover gets its own post!
Click the image below or this link to read: How to Get a Child Excited About the Bible Even if They Don’t Like to Read
I hope these tips are all helpful to you! If I didn’t cover it in this post, let me know in the comments your biggest struggle in getting your child to read the Bible!