Rediscovering Family Bible Times

by Alison Michell

When do you get together as a family? For meals… trips out… watching your favourite TV programme? How about to read the Bible together, and to encourage each other in your relationship with God?

Most parents are used to sending their children to school for their general education. So we do the same for their spiritual education by giving them to the children’s and youth leaders at a local church. If you have good children’s and youth groups at your

church, that’s something to thank God for. Your children will benefit hugely from them. But if we check out what the Bible says, we’ll see that the responsibility for the spiritual education of children does not lie with the church, or its leaders. It lies with parents!

A key passage is Deuteronomy 6 v 6-7 ‘These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’

Sitting at home, walking, lying down, getting up. This isn’t Sunday morning stuff – it’s every day living. So, how can you live out Deuteronomy 6 as part of your family life? Hopefully the following suggestions will help:

Have a go at reading the Bible together, maybe at breakfast or after an evening meal. This needn’t be long or difficult. Read a few verses, ask two or three simple questions, then pray together about what you’ve learnt.

Do you walk to school, or the shops? Try to talk about Christian things – not in a forced way, but as a natural part of helping your child see the world through God’s eyes.

Use car journeys to play a tape of Christian songs or Bible stories, and then chat about what you’ve heard.

Bedtime is a natural chance to look back. What a great opportunity to pray with your child about their day and the fact that God has been with them. If God has given you the gift of children, He has also given you the responsibility to teach them about Him. So make a start –and ask God to help you. He will!

Notes for family Bible reading Table Talk

Bible notes for pre-schoolers: Beginning with God