As we train up our children in the Lord, imparting a value and love for the Scriptures is imperative. Feeding on the Word of God is essential for our spiritual growth. It nourishes our spirit, establishes us in sound doctrine, and draws us into a deeper relationship with God. This is true not only for us, but for our children as well.
The apostle Paul made this statement to Timothy:
“…that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
Notice that Timothy knew the Scriptures from childhood. Through knowing the written Word, children can be drawn to salvation in Christ, taught godliness and character, and equipped for good works. They can develop a biblical worldview that will be a foundation for them the rest of their lives.
How do we impart a love for the Bible in our children? Below are a few ideas.
1. Loving the Bible ourselves: We cannot impart something to our children that we do not possess ourselves. Like with everything else in our parenting, we must lead by example in our hunger for the Word of God. The Bible is not just any book; it is inspired by God Himself. Like the Psalmist, we want to delight ourselves in the Scriptures, meditating on them day and night (see Psalm 1:2). If we do not value the Bible, how can we expect our kids to?
2. Reading the Bible to your children: This may sound simple and obvious, but reading the Bible to our kids is so important. When they are babies and toddlers, read to them from a children’s Bible. As they get a little older, read to them from your own Bible. Even if they don’t understand all of the words, the Word of God is being sown into their heart. (Listening to the Bible on audio is also a great option.)
3. Encouraging your children to read the Bible themselves: Kids are not too young to have their own times with God. Purchase a full Bible for your child and encourage them to read it during their quiet times (See this post for a practical pattern for children to spend quality time with the Lord.) I have been amazed to see how much my eight-year-old son enjoys reading the Bible. He has read through multiple books in the Old Testament, and truly finds it engaging. Don’t underestimate how a child can love the Scriptures!
4. Discussing and applying the Bible in daily life: Discuss and apply biblical principles throughout the daily routine of your life (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Ask your children questions and have real conversations. Allow them to ask hard questions, and process with them. Don’t just “shove the Bible down their throat” or “beat them over the head with it.” We want our children to grow into mature, free, sons and daughters of God who have their own real relationship with God; not mere robots who can parrot the information we have taught them.
God’s Word is inexhaustible; we will be digging into it, learning from it, and growing in it for the rest of our lives. And we want our children to truly love the Bible, not just read it out of duty. So, pray for your kids to have a hunger for the Word. Pray for the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures to them, so that they will encounter the Lord’s voice in its pages. Model for them a love for the Word and encourage them in reading and applying it.
Knowing and loving the Scriptures is so important. May our children learn to love and value the Bible at a young age!