Children, the Bible, and Personal and Family Devotions
|July 23, 2012||Posted by Rick Hogaboam under Children, Discipleship/Sanctification, Family|
We make it a habit in our household to have personal devotions in the morning, each kid reading from their own Bibles. Mimi will then read a joint devotional with the kids in the late morning or at lunch, generally using a resource that follows the redemptive historical timeline of Scripture, much like a Bible survey of sorts. At dinner, I try to read a Psalm or Proverb at the table before prayer or the singing of the doxology. Before bedtime, we have another joint devotional time using either a catechism or doctrinally oriented book. The focus is either Biblical or systematic theology. We also try to sing a hymn or worship song during the day as well. The following words from J.C. Rule are extremely helpful and encouraging in this task of Bible saturation:
“You cannot make your children love the Bible, I admit. No one but the Holy Spirit can give us a heart to delight in the Word. But you can make sure that your children are acquainted with the Bible; and remember that they can never become acquainted with that blessed book too soon, or too well.
“See that your children read the Bible reverently. Train them to look upon it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, written by the Holy Spirit Himself—all true, all profitable, and able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ.
“See that they read it regularly. Train them to regard it as their soul’s daily food—as something essential to their soul’s daily health. I well know that you cannot make this anything more than a form; but there is no telling the amount of sin which a mere form may indirectly restrain.
“See that they read it all. You need not shrink from bringing any doctrine before them. You need not assume that the leading doctrines of Christianity are things which children cannot understand. Children understand far more of the Bible than we are apt to suppose.
“Fill their minds with Scripture. Let the Word dwell in them richly. Give them the Bible, the whole Bible, even while they are young.”
~ J.C. Ryle. The Upper Room, “The Duties of Parents”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1970], 290-92.
© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.