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Read it daily...together

When we first started out, we used a printed Bible curriculum, but I wanted to teach my children the whole scope of the Bible and the full counsel of God. There aren't many curricula that do that. Most Sunday School materials or Bible workbooks skip the unpleasant or uglier parts of the Bible. I was once asked when my children were little, "You're not going to teach them those parts, are you?" Well, yes. I had to be delicate and careful about how I described those sections, helping them understand in simple, childlike ways. But children are hearing and learning about things younger and younger with the culture we now live in. I wanted them to hear about those things from me, to know the Bible addressed those issues, and to plant their spiritual feet solidly, from a young age, on the foundation of God's truth in any given area of life.

So I am a firm believer in teaching the whole unvarnished truth. And it seems God is, too, for He didn't whitewash any of the history of His people. I'm thankful that God doesn't cover up things or hide the truth as we often try to do. The honesty of the Bible is one of the most compelling arguments for its veracity. Honest truth is often hard truth. But it is also transforming truth. Gutsy truth is couched in reality.

The best Bible curriculum in the world is the Bible itself. One of the best and most important things we can do for our children during their growing up years is simply to read the Bible to them—every single day. Think of it as spiritual food and drink. Our soul and spirit need to be fed as much as our physical body needs to be fed. The immaterial parts of us need to be hydrated and cleansed just like our physical body. Eating and drinking cause us to grow and maintain energy. In the same way, the Bible does all of those things for our soul and spirit.

When our children were young, we had the privilege of observing an older couple who read the Bible at every meal. Following their example, we began that habit in our own family. We usually didn't read even a whole chapter—especially when the children were little—but by reading the Bible every day at every meal a lot of ground was covered. It's amazing how much can be done just through small, daily, consistent habits.

By reading aloud as a family, we also received the benefit of having regular opportunities to discuss the Word of God with our children. We could ask questions to check their attentiveness and comprehension, we could comment on something, and we could teach and instruct using what we had just read. Linking Bible reading with meal times also helped ingrain the spiritual metaphor that our spiritual lives need feeding every bit as much as our physical bodies.

There's really no substitute for simply reading through the Bible. Keep it short. Use it as a means of generating conversation with your children. A slow steady trickle of water over time will fill a mighty reservoir. And we all know the power that a reservoir can generate, which impacts many people. This is what you are giving to your children when you determine to establish the daily habit of reading the Bible to them. May God give you that determination and commitment.

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