Teaching your child to read the bible

Last Updated on March 6, 2024

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

One Saturday morning, at the height of mom frustration, I zipped through my house, picking up toys and dirty clothes while trying not to get upset at my lack of help.

Unfortunately, my kids probably assume that in those moments, they should remove themselves from the premises… or else they’ll hear about it.

Why is no one helping me clean up this house?

How can you just step over things lying on the floor?

No one but me thinks to pick this stuff up?

I opened the little kids’ room and found them playing with their toys. I opened the door to my son’s room, and they were watching sports. I was ready to let them have it!

But then, I opened the door to my teenage daughters’ room, and what I saw gave me pause.

The girls were reading their Bibles and writing notes in their journals.

My heart leaped with joy, and my focus shifted away from the mess onto the beautiful moment my daughters were having.

They chose to spend time reading the Bible and learning more about God – I didn’t tell them to do it! This was definitely the Holy Spirit at work in their hearts. It was a true proud mom moment, if I’ve ever had one.

Remember your kids are watching

Sometimes the busyness of life can easily cause us to forget that our actions and behavior heavily influence our children’s actions and behavior.

They’re watching us closely. What they see us model, they will undoubtedly copy— including teaching your child to read the Bible. Reading the Bible is a special and very sacred time with God. This beautiful truth will serve as a comfort to them in difficult times. And believe me; those times are coming.

Here are a few strategies we can use to encourage our children to make reading the Bible a part of their daily lives.

1. Talk to them about the importance of reading the Bible: In my home, we discuss how God is there for us, how He speaks to us (often through the Bible), and how He loves us. His Word is our guide, and there are lessons we can apply to every situation we encounter. Let them see that the Bible is true and real!

2. Let them see you read the Bible, too: My father often sat at the dining table with his Bible, highlighter, and notepad. My mother would curl up on the side of the couch, watching her favorite televangelist while flipping through the pages of her Bible. They modeled this for us for as long as I can remember. Now as a mom to seven, I can’t thank them enough for their kindness in exposing me to these beautiful moments that I strive to illustrate to my children.

3. Post a memory verse and offer a reward: Memorizing scripture is a helpful and effective strategy. When I was a teenager, my Bible study teacher gave us the task of memorizing specific chapters and verses. “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:1-12) was one of them.

Through memorization, I learned the words, but they became alive when I needed the truth.

When I mourned the death of my older brother, I recalled the verse, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

As believers, the Bible is our source of wisdom and strength. And by the grace of God, He’s given us His Word to stay connected, grow, and get to know Him.

By teaching our kids to read and memorize scripture, we aid in their spiritual growth. This practice helps them realize that it doesn’t matter what challenges they face; they can always turn to God’s Word for wisdom and hope in every circumstance.