Cultivate a Love for Bible Reading in Children

5 Ways to Cultivate a Love for Bible Reading in Children

Christian parents know that the Bible is the most important book your child will ever read. It introduces them to Jesus and the good news of the gospel, it’s full of wisdom and sound advice, it points us in the way we should go, and it offers encouragement and hope.

However, picking up a Bible can seem daunting—even for adults. Where do you begin? How do you unpack its more complex passages? And how do you keep that desire for God’s word alive without it feeling like a chore that must be checked off a list?

In order for your child to truly be transformed by God’s word in their hearts, they must develop a love and appreciation for it. However, this isn’t likely to come from flipping to a random page and reading whichever verse stands out to them. Instead, it requires intentional training and modeling from parents and role models.

Here at The Academy of Scholars, a Christian school in Georgia, our educators understand the critical role and incredible opportunity that parents and teachers have in helping children read the Bible. So, we’ve rounded up five ways that you can begin cultivating a love for scripture in your children today.

1. Read as a Family

As a Christian parent, you want Christ to be at the center of your family. And there’s no better way to accomplish that than by spending regular time together in God’s word and in prayer. Try implementing a family devotion and Bible reading time before bed, and have each family member take turns reading. Follow your reading time with a discussion about the passage, and talk about how the passage applies to your lives.

2. Set an Example

Children learn from the examples set by their parents and other role models. So, if you want your child to desire God’s word, show them just how desirable it is! It can be hard to find the time to read the Bible on a daily basis when there is so much vying for your time and attention. But chances are, if it’s not a priority for you, it won’t be a priority for your child, either. Even if you have to utilize the time before the kids are awake, you can still show them that it’s a part of your routine by talking about what you read.

3. Make it Interactive

Children retain more when given the opportunity to learn in interactive ways. If you’re reading the Bible aloud to your children, try not to settle for passive listening. Instead, ask questions, encourage your kids to ask questions, and talk about how the passage might relate to their life. You can also find interactive resources like kid-friendly study guides, activities, and games to make it fun.

4. Teach Kids How to Study God’s Word

If there’s one thing that children and adults alike can struggle with, it’s knowing how to study the Bible and not merely read it. For that, we recommend the R.E.A.D. method.

R: Read

Seems like it should go without saying, right? But the first step is opening up your Bible and reading what’s inside! Daily reading familiarizes us with the language of the Bible, so it becomes easier to understand. It also nourishes our spiritual health. That nourishment, just like food and water, is needed every day. Rather than packing in an hour-long study over the weekend, aim for 10 or 15 minutes each day.

E: Engage

Give your child a notebook that they can use for their Bible reading time. Encourage them to take notes, jot down any recurring words, phrases that stand out, or questions they might have. Younger children might enjoy drawing a picture of what they’ve read. If drawing isn’t their thing, encourage them to act out or put music to the passage. You can also encourage your child to highlight verses in their Bible that stand out.

A: Apply

James 1:22 instructs us to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (English Standard Version). Help your child consider practical ways that they can live out scripture. Ask questions like, “How can I love my neighbor?” or “How can you ‘hide God’s word in your heart?’” Remind your child that the Holy Spirit’s role is to help them apply biblical truth to their lives and encourage them to pray for His guidance.

D: Discuss

Discussion is a crucial way for children to process what they’ve read. Make sure the home is a safe place for questions and for sharing thoughts and feelings. Whether on the drive to school or while you’re tucking them into bed, designate a time to share with each other what you read that day. If your child has a question that you’re not sure how to answer, that’s okay! Let them know that you’ll look into it so that you can discover the answer together.

5. Show Them Where to Start

Children might feel overwhelmed when greeted with such a lengthy read. You can help by pointing out books and passages that will give them a firm foundation through an understanding of God’s character, the person of Jesus, and the themes of the gospel. Books like John, Luke, Acts, Psalms, Proverbs, and Romans are a great place to start.

As Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Helping your child cultivate a love for God’s word is critical to their spiritual health and development. And the more your child learns to love and appreciate scripture, the more you’ll see their lives transformed.