Posted On November 5, 2014

Erik Raymond – Parents: Should You Mandate Bible Reading for your Children?

by | Nov 5, 2014 | Christian Life, Gospel

This is probably one of the most common questions I hear from parents wanting to establish Christian disciplines in their kids.

Every Christian parent deals with this at some point. They struggle with what they should mandate vs just encourage their kids to do. And with this, how much? At what point will we defeat our purpose and discourage them?

OUR PRACTICE

This is what we do in our home. I am not saying it is for everyone, but we are supportive of it as a practice by conviction and experience. Our children range from 20 months to almost 16. There is quite a variety.

I’ll hit this from two angles, family and personal devotions.

Family Devotions: As a family we work through books of the Bible. We typically do this after dinner in the evening. I read a section of Scripture and talk about it as we go. I weave in questions and application. I require everyone to participate and help the younger ones to do so.

We are also going through The Heidelberg Catechism to help provide a firm theological understanding.

Personal or Private Devotions: Once the kids are able to read we require them to read their Bibles, journal, and pray.

In the morning, our older children get up, take care of their chores and hygiene and then sit down to do their devotions. We ask them to think through the implications of the passage, journal the main idea, confess sin, connect the passage to the gospel, and pray for grace filled obedience. They can expect questions about what they’ve read, not always, but often.

OBJECTIONS

One objection to mandating Bible reading is that it may discourage the children who don’t believe.

First, I want to remember that I am responsible for my children. I am a steward of them. I want to do everything I can in my power to see them become faithful Christians. I understand that the way people become Christians and then grow to maturity is through the word of God (Rom. 1.16); 10.17; Joh 17.17). Therefore, I want to expose them as much as I can to the Bible. We do this as a family and then in their individual time. So, instead of discouraging them, if God is gracious, the exposure to the Bible will actually encourage them. It will be the means of opening eyes and hearts to believe.

Second, I want to remember that our home is a Christian home. While living here does not make you a Christian, it does mean that the home is going to reflect traditional Christian values and practices. Therefore, we are going to read, pray, sing, and talk about Christ and his word. I should never feel bad or discouraged about this. It is part of being a Christian.

Continue Reading

Related Posts

Do Not Stretch the Truth

Do Not Stretch the Truth

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.” (Lev. 19:11) Nestled within commands to not steal or bear false witness is a three-word prohibition. It is stated in a matter of fact manner and simply – do not lie. There is no...

Scripture is Not a Choose Your Own Adventure Book

Scripture is Not a Choose Your Own Adventure Book

I remember as a child reading numerous books in the Choose Your Own Adventure Series. This collection of books has a variety of options for the reader. At certain points, there is a choice to be made – choose option one and you get to go to page twenty-three. If you...

A Review of “When I am Afraid” by Edward T. Welch

A Review of “When I am Afraid” by Edward T. Welch

Change is never as simple as “step-by-step” guides suggest. Change is hard work which involves assistance and consistency over time. Yet, we must all make steps towards progress. Ed Welch recognizes both of these realities as he writes his “step-by-step guide away...

Is It Wrong to Have an Opinion?

Is It Wrong to Have an Opinion?

“I have my own opinions about things in the Bible.” This was a statement my daughter noted to me in a recent chat. At first, this took me a bit by surprise. What did she mean by having her own opinion? Doesn’t she believe what the Bible says is true? Or is she perhaps...

Lessons From the Garden: Existence, Relationships, and Processes

Lessons From the Garden: Existence, Relationships, and Processes

We spent some time last year engaging various issues I labeled as “Lesson from the Garden”. Why start at the beginning and focus so much on the book of Genesis? I firmly believe that until a proper and well-rooted foundation is built from those formative pages of...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share
Tweet
Email
Reddit
Share