The other day at church I had the opportunity to preach on why we should be investing in the Word of God. You can watch that message here. As I prepared this message this thought crossed my mind: How many parents talk about the Bible in front of their kids but are rarely seen reading it in front of them? In light of that, I want to give you three reasons why your kids should see you reading your bible.
1 - It shows them the importance of investing in the Word
Our kids tend to imitate what we deem as important. Skip church regularly? Your kids might grow up with the idea community isn’t that important. Eat bad? Your kids might grow up having learned bad eating habits from you. Cuss often and gossip much? Your kids might grow up to use profanity nonchalantly and gossip about other people as if it’s okay. You get the idea, I’m sure. If we treat time investing in the Word of God has secondarily and not important our kids will learn to do just the same. And we wonder why we have such a biblical illiterate generation. By not investing in the Word we are teaching the next generation that the bible isn’t that important.
We may say we love God, follow Jesus and seek God’s counsel but if we never open up His inspired or breathed out Word written to us by 40 authors of diverse backgrounds over 15 centuries then there’s no backing to what we are saying! A love for God should equate to a love for His Word. After all Jesus Himself said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (NKJV). Humans did not create the bible—God used humans to write down His Word which was written through human hands that who inspired by the Holy Spirit! When our kids see us reading God’s Word it will show them God’s Word is important.
2 - It increases the chances of them NOT leaving the church when they are older
A recent article from ChurchLeaders.com called How Skipping Church Affects Your Children sheds some light on the reason why many young people leave the church. And, to me, it’s eye-opening!
In light of reading the bible, I do believe not reading God’s Word in front of your kids will be another stepping stone to them one day falling into apostasy. According to the article, “Maybe the reason why our children have no love for Christ is due to the fact that we as parents do not show any love or passion for Christ, evidenced by how we prioritize our time both on Sundays and during the week. When television, sports, school, hobbies even family itself are elevated to a place of idolatry and replace the vital Christian responsibilities, then we tell our children that Christ is secondary to all these things. We tell our children that it is not necessary to take up your cross and die to yourself daily in order to follow Christ. We tell them that you only have to live for Christ when it’s convenient for you. We tell them it is okay to sacrifice time with your all-satisfying Savior if something “more fun” or “more important” comes along (sarcasm indicated by quotation marks if you didn’t catch that). And this sounds like a clear path to apostasy if you ask me.”
If we teach our kids the practice of skipping out on the things of God AND the reading and study of God’s Word, we are positioning them to likely walk away from following Jesus when they are older. We are creating an environment for apostasy to develop. Combat that by living out your passion and love for Christ NOW by keeping Jesus first and everything else secondary!
Get in the Word so that your kids see the Word getting in you! Be the example.
3 - It shows them where to prepare for battle
There is a spiritual battle going on. We are in a spiritual war zone against the “rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present age, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV) and if we aren’t properly armed we are setting ourselves (and our kids) up for failure. Ephesians 6: 17 calls the Word of God “the sword of the Spirit”—a weapon in our warfare against what Ephesians 6:12 talks about.
Why wouldn’t we—as followers of Jesus—want to arm our children with the weapons that will actually help them fight against the “spiritual forces of evil?” Our kids learn to imitate what we do and say. By placing God’s Word in front of our kids—by reading and studying it and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and then through us—we are showing them where to find the weapons they need in order to not be overcome by the enemy of our souls.
Why would want to raise up “Christian” kids who don’t know there’s a battle going on or how to fight? We must prepare them, but we must first show them. Take up the “sword of the Spirit”. Don’t just read God’s Word in front of them. Live it out too.
In summary, I want to be a dad who shows my kids the importance of spending time in God’s Word. I want to do everything I can to prevent my kids from walking away from the things of God when they are older. And I want to prepare them for battle before the leave my house, because we are living in troubling times.
Let’s be an example.
Let’s go to bat for the future of the church (starting with our kids).
Let’s prepare them for battle.
Let’s be parents who are raising godly men and women who are shaking the kingdom of darkness for the glory of God and who are bringing the hope found in Jesus Christ to all people, all over the world!
Let’s get in the Word to today—better yet, let’s get in the Word with our kids today!
Aaron Joseph Hall is a pastor, author and inspirational blogger. He lives in Okeechobee, Florida with his wife, Sarah, and their two boys, Oliver and Hudson. You can find him online at AaronJosephHall.org.