Why I Stopped Reading Bible Story Books to My Children

Jana and I recently had the sweet opportunity to visit friends of ours in Romania – Drew and Heidi Carlson – and we found their kids were desperately in need of a grandpa to read them a story. I gladly obliged.

Here are some thoughts Heidi shared with me about Bible Story books.


by Heidi Carlson
I was so excited when my children became old enough to understand and engage when I read to them from Bible storybooks.  The readings led to excellent discussion and the opportunity to discuss truth.  Modeling a personal devotion time, I tried to read a chapter from the Bible storybook every day.  After a year or so, however, we’d read the same stories over and over and needed something new, refreshing.  So, as many of you can probably relate, I asked other parents what resources they used with their children.

I bought more books, but we quickly exhausted those as well.  My kids needed something meatier, something deeper, now that they were approaching kindergarten age.  Then the obvious hit me.  They needed the Bible.  

Knowing that a parent should model the behavior they want their children to emulate, I had always ensured they saw me reading my Bible in the mornings.  However, family Bible reading time was not part of our regular routine.  I had visions of my preschooler nodding off at the dinner table during a thirty-minute reading of Leviticus from the King James Bible.  It sounded more painful than wholesome, spiritual development.

I needed to read and teach them Scripture in a way that resonated with their young minds and fit in our schedule.

For this season of life, I have found something that works.  I chose meal time – usually breakfast but sometimes it’s a different meal.  There are at least a solid 10 minutes where I have their mostly undivided attention and they have mine.  I wrote a long passage of Scripture on a piece of paper and taped it to the wall by my chair.  I would read a verse or even a short phrase and explain its meaning.  Then we would memorize it.

I was amazed.  Their developing minds are primed and designed to be skilled memorizers.  As an adult, memorization is hard work.  For children, they enjoy it because they see instant progress and results.  “Mommy, can we memorize another line?” is not an uncommon refrain at the breakfast table.  They are hearing, understanding andmemorizing the Word of God.

We still read Bible storybooks, adding them to the pile of books we read before bedtime.  However, those books are not the inspired word of God, even though they are packed with Biblical truth and are useful for training in righteousness.  Only the Bible is the Word of God.
Read more from Heidi – stories of parenting, stories of Romania and life in general traveling the world with kids at her blog: https://willtravelwithkids.wordpress.com

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