If you find yourself in the busy throes of parenting or nannying or otherwise interact with children on a daily basis, I heartily urge you to read Together: Growing Appetites for God. It’s easy to read and not very long, but could potentially have an incredible impact on you and on your children.
The book is a memoir of an “everyday mama” who became convicted by her inability to find time to read the Bible consistently. She was in the stage of “full days and late nights” with three kids under four, and just didn’t get to it. She felt bad about that, and then began to think about the possibility of reading the Bible with her young children. The book follows the ups and downs of her decision to read a chapter of the Bible aloud to her kids every morning at breakfast, and what a blessing it turned out to be in their lives.
The author mentions a lot that she’s not supermom or specially equipped for this idea. She had never read the Bible through before until she finished reading it to her kids (five years after they started!). I was struck by the stories of how God used her faithfulness in the life of her family, as well as encouraged by her honesty and suggestions.
Having read about this concept before I got my hands on this book (thank you to Sheila for loaning it to me!) I purposed at the beginning of this month to start reading the New Testament to the kids at breakfast. We often do Bible or other school reading at meals, so it wasn’t a new thing to my kids for me to read while they ate, but I have been surprised at how much they have paid attention and really interacted with me and with the text as we read. We’ve read passages of Scripture together and piecemeal chapters, but attempting to read all the way through seemed daunting at first. I chose to begin in the New Testament since we read a lot of Old Testament last semester while we were studying the ancient world and I thought they might not have heard as much of the New Testament directly (versus just the stories covered in children’s Bibles and Sunday School lessons).
Now that I’ve read Together I feel even more encouraged in this plan of daily reading. I also found a lot more helpful advice and application in reading it, and I really do recommend it to anyone who takes care of kids regularly, even if they are very young. As the author notes, Isaiah 55:11 assures us that God’s Word “will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire.” The testimony of how reading together impacted this one normal family (the author’s kids are teens now and they have read through the Bible several more times since that first foray) is awesome to hear and I’m excited to see how God will use this Bible reading plan in my family as well.
Do you have a plan for reading the Bible through with your kids, or have you tried that in the past? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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