How Children and Youth Read the Bible

“I want my children to know the Bible,” is the emphatic statement we hear from households.  We want to know scripture and we want our children to know scripture as well.   Join The Bible Challenge and become a Bible reading household.

Our children teach us much.  They want to know the Bible.  Why not learn with them.   Here are some steps in helping our children in The Bible Challenge, that might help us as well…

1.  Pick a readable Bible.
Ages 2 through Grade 2 – The Spark Story Bible richly retells and brings God’s Word to life; engages both reader and listener with activities and questions.

The DK Children’s Illustrated Bible gives us the best known Bible stories appealing to the early reader, told in clear, lively language.  A good beginner’s bible.

Eugene Peterson, pastor and teacher, in an effort to bring the original biblical language to the modern reader has remixed the Bible into The Message, a contemporary text bringing joy and understanding of some all too often complex language.  The Message is a valuable Bible to read at all ages.

New International Version publishes the Teen Study Bible, a great guide with explanation, facts, and quizzes for discussion.

2.  Get Excited about Reading the Bible.
Reading the Bible is a practice to share in enriching our lives with our children.   Let them know of God’s inspired Word, God’s holy, life saving story for us, promised to us now and forever.  Show children the table of contents,  the books of the Old and New Testament; how to look up chapter and verse.  Get started with the Creation story in the Book of Genesis.  Get excited through stories of struggle and joy and journeys of wonder and delight.  Be amazed by the Crossing of the Red Sea, Ruth’s faithfulness, David and Goliath, Esther’s courage.  Let Jesus change our lives with his miraculous acts of love and compassion.

3.  Show them how the Bible is like real life.
Jesus tells us in Luke 6, ways to live and love and forgive and care for others.  In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells us, step by step, how to forgive one another.  The Bible gives us real life stories and real life solutions from God’s world; the world God intends for us to plant here and now.  The apostle’s letters tell us, as a church, how to care for one another, and join together in following Jesus’ way.  Join with your children at bedtime and read a story a night.  Talk about how the story is or is not like real life.  How is the Bible helping

4.  Read and retell.
Pick your Bible story.  Or, pick a favorite verse (Luke 1:37) and read the verses before the verse and then, the verses following.  Ask some questions:  what does the writer want us to know?  Where are you in the story?  What is God asking you to do in this story?

5.  Get started.
Pick the same time and place, every day.  Bedtime is a good time to settle in.  Begin with Genesis, at least the first five chapters and learn about God’s saving love in our lives, forever and ever.  Read the Psalms to pray.  Read the Gospel of Luke to learn about Jesus’ saving love in our lives forever and ever.  Read Acts to learn about the  settling and forming of the church.  In you want to read the entire Bible in a one year:  read three chapters each day, Monday through Saturday and five chapters on Sunday.  Keep track of what you’ve read.  Make a mark after each chapter.   Offer up prayers of thanksgiving for a life renewed and found in this holy Word.