I am pleased to welcome a guest poster today. Davonne Parks will share her heart about reading through the Bible with your children. When she first sent me this, I was just singing praises, it is so in line with my thinking. Praise God for families raising up the next generation in the Word!
Together: Growing Appetites for God Book Review and Testimony
by Davonne Parks
As a Christian mom, my greatest desire for my children is for them to grow up to love God and to know His Word. I’ve read through numerous children’s devotional books over and over again with my two little ones, and my oldest daughter learned and knows the Biblical accounts very well. My younger daughter, however, has not. I try not to compare the two girls because I know they will learn things at a different pace and in different ways. I grew concerned, however, when my very energetic younger daughter turned three a few months ago and still didn’t understand the basic concept of common children’s Bible topics (Moses, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, etc.) I realized that I needed to do something to help her understand basic Bible facts because our children’s Bible books and Bible classes were not enough. In the meantime, my older daughter (age 7) had expressed a desire to read through the Bible and had even picked up a daily Bible several times but kept getting off track because her goal was so difficult for her to reach at such a young age. I spent a considerable amount of time researching different methods for both girls, and had contemplated purchasing the Bible on audio for my older and acting out Biblical accounts in a play-type setting with my younger. Both of those would be good things to do, but then I read a book about a mom who took a different route for teaching God’s Word to her children.
Carrie Ward wanted to read the entire Bible out loud to her four young children (the fourth was still pre-born), so she opened her Bible to Genesis chapter one at the breakfast table one day. The next day she read Genesis chapter two. And she didn’t stop. Five years later, they finished reading Revelation and they celebrated. The next morning they started right back in Genesis and read through the Bible again, but the second time it only took them three years to complete. Ward is currently reading through the Bible out loud for the third time, and having invaluable Biblical discussions with her children along the way.
While on her third time of reading through the Bible with her four children, Carrie Ward wrote a book called, “Together: Growing Appetites for God.” Ward’s book is a well written book full of wonderful insights and engaging stories about their journey through God’s Word together. The chapter about how to navigate through difficult passages was particularly helpful, and I appreciated her advice about not berating ourselves for getting off track – Ward said to just pick up the Bible and continue where you left off without trying to play catch-up. My favorite part about this book is that it called me to action! I started reading the Bible out loud to my children the day after I began reading Ward’s book, then I lent the book to a friend who is now doing the same for her kids. I highly recommend Together to any parent who wants to help their children develop a love and a knowledge of God's Word!
We’re currently nearing the end of the book of Genesis in our own home and I’ve noticed a significant Bible knowledge improvement in both of my children. My older is taking interest in the little details that are left out of children’s Bibles, and my younger daughter is fascinated by all of the fighting, pitching of tents (she loves to camp!), and babies. I knew the reading was really sinking in when I watched my younger daughter make her animals act out a Biblical account with surprising accuracy. The best part about reading the Bible out loud to my children is that, instead of the separate teaching methods I was originally contemplating, we are learning the Bible together.
I love what we’re told in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.”
We need to plant and water the seeds of God’s Word into our children’s hearts, and we will receive a reward for those efforts. But, it is God who gives the increase. And I thank Him for doing so.
Davonne Parks is an author who is passionate about striving to make the most of her time, using her talents for good, and inspiring others to do the same. She blogs at DavonneParks.com and she just released her first eBook, 28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person