NOTE: This is Part 1 of a 5-part series explaining spiritual disciplines to children. Each article in the series is designed to be read by kids or to kids. You can check out the rest of the series here.
by Maria Wilkening
What is it?
Reading the Bible is important, but not just for grown-ups—it’s important for children too. And it might surprise you to hear that Bible reading includes not just reading, but also when you hear the Bible being read to you. Hearing the Bible (sometimes called “ear reading”) is very good, just like “eye reading.” Some of you may not have learned to read yet, or reading may be something that is difficult for you, but hearing the Bible helps everyone, as well as reading it.
What’s the Bible say about it?
We read the Bible because it is how God has spoken to us. That’s why it is called God’s Word. The Bible helps us learn what is right, corrects us, and teaches us how to live to please God (2 Timothy 2:16-17). Every word of God is true; He cannot lie (Proverbs 30:5). Unlike the grass and flowers that will fade and die, God’s word will last forever (Isaiah 40:8). After Jesus was raised from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and said, “Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Acts 24:44). Every promise about Jesus will happen. We can rely on God’s Word. It is perfect and true. It tells us who God is, what He has done, and what He will do.
How can I do it?
Here are some tips. It’s a great idea to find a quiet place to read the Bible, because sometimes a quiet place can help you focus. Try to find a consistent time and read it regularly. He promises to help us. Don’t be afraid to look up hard words, or ask a family member the meaning. One of the best ways to read the Bible is with your family. If reading is hard for you, ask your parents or a sibling to read to you, or ask your parents to find an audio version online that you could listen to. There are even dramatized audio versions that may help you better understand what you hear. Wondering where to start? The Bible is a collection of many smaller books put together and all of it is important—however you do not need to always start at the beginning of the first page and read it straight through. If this is the first time you are trying to read the Bible on your own, consider starting with Jesus’ life in one of the gospels or in Acts. Or instead, you might enjoy reading Proverbs or Psalms. Or read some verses before and after the ones you memorize in AWANA. Now let’s think about how to read. Before you begin, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading. After you pray, read a few verses and pause to think about what it is saying. What is it saying about God? What is it saying about how we should think, and what we should love, and how we should act? We don’t read the Bible to just know what it says, we read to learn who God is and how we can glorify him and enjoy him forever.