God's Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
"Can you recommend any good books?" This is a question I am asked, a lot. In my last post, I wrote about how no amount of books adequately prepared my husband and me for the many ways our children impacted our marriage, time, energy and emotions. However, I have good news. There is ONE BOOK I highly recommend to every parent!
Unequivocally, The Bible was, and is, the very best resource for every season, age and stage of parenting! In the pages of God's Word, my husband and I found life-giving truth that helped shape our lives, as well as the lives of each of our children. Thankfully, the God who created you, me, our spouse and each one of our children didn't leave us to our own devices. He graciously gave us His promises, and words of truth, to reveal to us how best to train up our children in the way they should go, God's way!
Unlike my own children, I didn't read the Bible until after surrendering my life to Jesus, when I was in college. The more I read, the more I fell-in-love with God's word, and the more God used His word to change my life in radical ways. Bible reading became my daily discipline. Until, that is, I joined the ranks of busy, sleep-deprived and overwhelmed mommies. Quickly, I discovered it was very difficult to read my Bible on a daily basis. I wanted to, and I tried. Most mornings, I attempted to wake up very early. I would sit up in bed, and quietly turn on the nearby lamp. However, I am pretty sure kids have the ability to hear a light switch, because as soon as it "clicked on," one or more of my children would begin to cry, holler or run and climb into bed with me. Before I knew it, the Bible was forgotten, as diapers, bottles and breakfast demanded that I begin my day.
I felt guilty, not reading my Bible. Somehow, I seemed to find time to journal now and then. I also enjoyed small devotional books. The short stories gave me small boosts of encouragement. But, I knew those things were not feeding my soul the same way God's Word did. Then, one day, in one of those devotions, I read this: "Figure out how much time you spend daily on things that are worth nothing, then decide how much you can give to Bible reading." It was true. I thought of all the times I sat down to watch a television show. Or other times, when I waited at doctor and dentist appointments, where I flipped through magazines of no real value. I realized there were plenty of opportunities in my day to make time to read my Bible.
Then and there, I decided Bible reading needed to return to a top priority in this mama's life. My first step, make it as accessible as possible throughout my day. I put my Mom's Devotional Bible on the kitchen counter, where I could read it while I prepared a meal or filled cups with juice or cut-up apple slices. I bought a small Bible to carry in my purse. And, I strategically placed 3x5 cards, printed with Bible verses, all around the house and in the diaper bag. That way, I could at least "snack" on God's words, while I waited at an older child's soccer practice, washed the dishes, or dried my hair.
It took a conscientious effort to begin reading my Bible on a daily basis, after "winging it" for so long. But, once it became my habit, I found it nurtured my soul like no other book ever could. In the Bible, I found help to overcome the anger that surprisingly surfaced once my children arrived. Our whole family discovered and memorized Bible verses that helped us to overcome fears, doubts and other problems. And, I experienced greater power in my prayer life, when I used the scriptures to shape the way I prayed. The Bible was the One Book where my husband and I consistently found wisdom, comfort, strength, hope, direction, guidance, instruction and practical help to parent our children in godly, loving and life-giving ways. And, it is The One parenting resource I highly recommend to every parent out there.
Here are 5 Simple Tips to Help You Read Your Bible Everyday:
1. Resolve to make it a priority
2. Find a Bible YOU like (Consider the size, color, font, version)
3. Keep a Bible open on the kitchen counter or somewhere you can read it
4. Ask the Lord to give you a hunger for His word, and to speak to you from it
5. Do it because it nourishes your soul and your relationship with Jesus, not as a task
If you find it difficult to read the Bible, regularly or at all, please know you are not alone. Ask the Lord to give you a desire for His word and a plan to read it regularly. And, place a Bible or scripture verses everywhere you hang out. That way, you may feast on His Words anytime of day or anywhere you go.