Thursday, November 28, 2013
But I did read and enjoy this one.
Together is Carrie Ward's story of how she sat and read the ENTIRE Bible to her three (later four) children at the breakfast table over several years. After struggling with her own Bible reading and feeling disillusioned and hypocritical about how she was going to instil a love of Scripture in her kids, she prayed and then optimistically started the reading adventure from Genesis to Revelation. I received this book as a Christmas present from a friend last year and what a timely gift it was now that I'm a mum and can relate to Carrie's struggles.
Here's what I learnt from this great little book:
It's never too late and they're never too young: I've been tempted to think that since Rory is a baby it's pointless to read the Bible to him. It's never too early. I'd like the reading of Scripture together to become 'normal' for him - maybe not at the breakfast table, but sometime (a friend of mine reads the Bible with her kids at lunchtime before they have their afternoon naps). If you've never read the Bible with your kids, it's not too late no matter how old they are. When Carrie started reading to her kids she had three (her fourth child arrived part way through their read through) and her eldest was four.
Persist, even though it seems like they're not listening: Carrie despaired after Day 1 because her kids were...well...being kids. She wondered what the point of it all was...until she saw them role playing what they'd just read about in Genesis. They were listening after all!
Read ahead of them: Carrie would 'prepare' for the next reading by staying a chapter or two ahead of her kids. That way she could pray about and decide how to tackle issues raised in the passage and potential questions they might ask (she also has a great section in the book on how to deal with and explain those awkward, adult-content type passages in an age-appropriate way). It also motivated her to read the Bible on her own and not just when her kids were present.
The wagon may stop momentarily but don't get off it: When Carrie was estimating how long it would take to read through the entire Bible she factored in things such as sick days, visitors, when she was having her fourth child....life sometimes gets in the way of carefully made plans. But that's not a reason to stop. Don't despair if you've missed a few days, just get back on the wagon again.
Nothing beats the real thing: Children's Bibles have their place, but nothing is better than the real Bible, the inspired Word of God. I think often many people assume children won't understand the real Bible, but God is powerful.
Sometimes I read a Psalm to Rory as I read through them myself. Reviewing this book was a reminder to get back on the wagon again.