“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). Paul is old. He’s locked up, but he still asks Timothy for books and paper. He’s committed to reading and writing even in his advanced age. Besides all the social data that indicates that those who read every day are more successful, Christians should understand the value of reading daily. Our Scripture, God’s very words, are written down in a book. His gospel is a story told. Therefore, we should be committed to reading daily.
Men especially, as you lead your home, value reading, value books, and value good stories. Doing so will provide gospel in-roads as your shepherd your homes, as you seek to read Scripture to your family, and as you seek to mature as a disciple of Jesus Christ and as you seek to multiply disciples in your sphere of influence. Here’s fifteen ways you can read more in 2015.
1. PLAN YOUR WEEK
You don’t need to be a schedule crazed person to plan your week. Have a general idea what you want to accomplish and when you want to accomplish it. Having a schedule allows you to be flexible with it. Don’t be shy. Schedule your reading. Fight for that time. I’m not a morning person, but for those of you who are, why not get up thirty minutes early and do some of your reading? Or if you’re a night owl, why not stay up thirty minutes later and read? Or take a shorter lunch and read during part of it? The gist? Find time through planning.
2. THINK QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
When it comes to your daily reading get into a routine that’s realistic and think quality, not quantity. The easiest way to fail at reading more is to set unrealistic goals. Take it slow out of the gate. Don’t schedule too much reading time if you’re starting from nothing. If you haven’t been regularly reading I would recommend starting with twenty minutes of Scripture and ten minutes of another book daily. Add more time as your reading muscles grow.
3. SWAP DUTIES WITH YOUR WIFE
If you are married, why not swap duties with your wife one night? She takes care of all that night’s duties and allows you to take a good chunk of time to read. Just don’t forget to return the favor! My wife once or twice a month allows me four hours at a local bookshop to knock out some long distance reading without the distraction of children. I do the same for her so she can explore craft, antique, and fabric stores once or twice a month. It gives us each time to enjoy something we love. It gives us the opportunity to show our love tangibly to each other. And it fosters teamwork and communication.
4. READ TO YOUR CHILDREN
If you have children include them in the reading. Find books that will excite, engage, and arrest their attention. Read a little bit every night. Be dramatic. Have fun.