Originally published Tuesday, 05 February 2013.
"I want you to read the Bible to me because it's true."
Nearly two weeks ago Ron and I adjusted our bedtime routines with the children. Before bed we would read a chapter book with Emily and three or four picture books with Joshua prior to reading a Bible account. Our dearest Emily has fallen in love with reading. She will sit for hours listening to us read; that is until we reach for the Bible at bedtime.
Ron decided it was time for a change. Our desire is that the Bible would be the most treasured book for our children. Therefore we reserve chapter books and picture books for nap time and throughout the day, but give the Bible center stage at bedtime.
This Wednesday we were home late from church. It was bath night and we were tired. So what if we skipped one night of reading the Bible before bed? There is always tomorrow right?
Emily did not share our sentiments. She was crying and asking Ron to please read a chapter of Luke to her.
As Ron joined me on the couch I joked, "What kind of parents send their kids to bed begging for them to read the Bible?" He was simultaneously thinking, "What kind of pastor am I to not read the Bible to my kid when she is asking?"
When I tucked her into bed (for the second time that evening) Ron picked up his iPad and said, "I am going in there. I cannot send her to bed when she is asking me to read the Bible to her."
Through tears Emily says, "I wanted you to read the Bible to me because it's true. I wanted you to read the Bible because you said you would read it every night."
What if we were at the mercy of some literate adult to read the word of God to us? Consider how starved for the truth we could be.
Last spring we attended a high school graduation. I know that in fourteen very short years our Emily will be walking across a stage, receiving her diploma, and completely responsible for choosing to read and follow God's word on her own. Then two years later, Joshua will follow her lead. After that point we will not know what time they go to bed, where they have been all day, nor exactly what temptations they are facing.
Sowing the seed of God's word now prepares them for the independence that lies ahead. Because it is true, this home and this time we have is temporary, it is our desire to equip them to live for Jesus all the days of their life. After all, we are planting wheat fields, not beanstalks.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.