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How to Have a Bible Time with Your Family

Jeremy:
So, we had a great question Homeroom, our membership site. We open that a couple times a year. If you guys are interested make sure you check us out at homeroomonline.com, but John says, “How do you do a Bible time at the dinner table and/or before going to bed? Go through a book of the Bible, father has questions prepared, talks about how they have mostly teenagers. I want to keep them engaged. Any other ways throughout the day you pass along your faith.” So, I love this idea of thinking about how do we use the table as a way of having conversations about the Bible.

In Deuteronomy 6 you guys know it talks about how we need to just be initiating Bible conversations constantly. So, there’s two ways I want to talk about that I’ve done this. One was when my kids were really young, and another now that they’re older. And so, we do different things after dinner. I want to talk just about at the table, some of the things that we did. So, one thing that we did at the table is that when our kids were little, I would try to take things that I was learning in the Bible. And the way I would describe it is I got some big steak in the morning, which is like, I got the Lord really downloaded something really cool in my time in the Word. And I want to cut that up into bite sized pieces that my kids can actually ingest. And so usually I come up with a couple little questions or a way that I think might relate to them, a story from my past that might introduce this.

And so oftentimes I would do with my own journal is that I will be writing in my journal, something and just spending time with the Lord, listening to a couple of chapters of the word. And then, then I get to a point where it’d be like really dialing into some principle or some idea. And then I would try just to take another 20 seconds and see, is there some way I can cut this up for my kids tonight? And that was super helpful because that was just that little tiny 20 or 30 second final step. Not only was it, did it bring some, some nourishment biblically, spiritually to my kids, but also really cemented it for me because now I get to have another five or 10 minute conversation about what God’s talking to me about, what I’m passionate about. So that’s how I did it when the kids were little, that was really helpful for us.

And then in a teen stage, what we’re doing now is that we’re reading the same passages with our kids. And so we give them the same five Bible readings every week that me and April read and journal about, and then we have one meal that’s set aside just to talk intentionally about what did you learn from this week’s Bible reading? And so this is just getting a Bible plan that all the kids can be on together with you and your spouse, and then go into a meal a week. And that it’s not that you can’t talk about this all week long, but I found it really helpful to put this in my weekly rhythm because I can really make sure that on Mondays is for us. It’s like Midrash Monday, we call it Midrash, when you just sort of like discuss a portion of scripture, like we want to make that dinner table all about that. And then we can of course do it other times, but that intentionality has been really helpful. So those are a couple ideas, John, that have been helpful for us, but yeah. Jeff, what have you guys tried?

Jeff:
Yeah, I would say the same thing and I would just say also like lower the bar from pressure standpoint. I think we think it has to be some thing when it really just needs to be a rhythmic habit and those are two different things, right. Just like put it in front of them, just be doing it, be open your mouth, open the Bible, just talk and do that consistently. It doesn’t need to be orchestrated or super thought out, or I think we all get into that weird crisis of like, it has to be X, Y, and Z, and then we don’t do it or we get too much pressure. And so the way this looks for us with little kids is, yeah, I’ll usually just open up the Bible a couple of times a week at breakfast and just read, in all, it probably takes three minutes, two minutes.

I usually would just open it up. Maybe a Gospel, usually Psalms. I find Psalms are really easy for the toddlers and they’re just kind of fun to memorize and they can kind of, I do repeat after me and stuff like that, but whatever it says, I just think of some really … Make it fun and make it like cool little illustration. I think one time I opened it and it was like, “God’s glory is as high as the heavens” or whatever, “stretches from the earth, all the way to the heavens” or something like that. So then I went and got a tape measure from the garage and I just kept putting the tape measure up and up and up. And I was like, “How high do you think heaven is?” And blah, blah, blah. Right. And they just are throwing out numbers and guessing and laughing.

And it’s funny. And I’m like, “well, that’s how God, big his glory is.” There was one time, it was some Psalm about some rock. I forgot what the rock and the glory or whatever. So then I went outside and got a pebble and then just said something about that. There was one time it said that we hide under the shadow of his wing. So then I got a blanket and I just held it up kind of like a cape. And I was like, “Come inside and let me cover you.” And just joke around and hide and stuff like that. Guys, it takes like two seconds and I don’t even … There’s no forethought there by the way. I don’t even pick those until I open up and start reading. So I literally just start reading and I’m like, “Oh, how can I show that?”

So I think just do that. Man, it’s just, especially with toddlers, man. It’s fun. And it’s engaging. They love it because what you really want to do when they’re younger is get them to love the scriptures. And for them to love the scriptures, you want the scriptures to feel full and whole and fun and exciting and truthful and all. And in real life, all these symbols and totems are actually reminding them of who God is and what he’s like. And that’s one thing I think we don’t do a good job in our culture today. And so, yeah, that’s what I would say. Just make it fun, make it engaging and just open your mouth. Right? Like you’re thinking these things about the scriptures, hopefully. So just like talk to them and that’s really what it comes down to.

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