Putting together a daily Bible reading plan for your family doesn’t have to be hard. You can do it in just a few minutes!
I sighed and gathered up my children’s Bible curriculum books. It was good curriculum, I thought. Solid theologically, anyway.
I looked over at my youngest two boys. They were in first and second grade, and while there was nothing wrong with the retold Bible story and fill-in-the-blank answer sheet we had done, nor was there anything grievous about the five paragraphs I’d read explaining the story to them, I was dissatisfied.
You see, the story we read was from the Bible. But it wasn’t the Bible.
I did a quick calculation in my head. My second grader would only be at home another eleven years. Did I really want to spend three of those years doing abbreviated Bible lessons with my kids? Or would we read the actual Bible together?
That day, I sat down at my dining room table and started planning a daily Bible reading plan for our family.
This spring, my former second grader graduates high school. We’ve read through the Bible together as a family nearly four times, and my mama heart is confident that our time in Scripture together has been worthwhile.
Bible Reading Concerns
One of the things I address in my book, Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible, is how to identify and overcome your fears about teaching the Bible to your kids. Once I realized I could create my own daily Bible reading plan for my kids, I created a curriculum (Bible Road Trip™) to use with our family and to equip other parents to teach the Bible as well.
Over the years, I’ve heard from parents–thousands and thousands of parents–about their family Bible reading concerns. Those concerns tend to fall into four categories, each of which I address in the first chapter of Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible.
What Other Moms Are Worried About
I asked some of my readers over at Thinking Kids to share their family Bible reading plan concerns. Here’s what they had to say about a common concern:
- Certain portions of the Old Testament have content that is too mature for young kids, like David and Bathsheba, some Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and violence in various portions. – Amanda Miller, USA, 4 kids, ages 2-17 years
- It does seem too adult. There are parts of the Bible that even I still feel scandalized reading. I need to fully understand these parts before reading them to my kids and trying to explain it to them! – Elicia Hardy, USA, 4 kids, ages 2-11
- The thing that is hardest, or that I struggle with the most, is how to cover the tough stuff: adultery, multiple wives, rape, etc. Finding how to balance (that) God’s Word is perfect and all is useful for teaching with not giving my children information they are not ready for. Family Bible reading gets more complicated too with the big age spread. With my 12-year-old I can, and must, read some of those less pretty passages, but I’m not ready to read them with my five-year-old! – Annie Fields, USA, 5 kids, ages 1-12
Daily Bible Reading Plan
Putting together a daily Bible reading plan for your family is doable. Not only that–it’s important. While there are reasons for concern over content with young children, you can read the Bible as a family.
- Read a manageable amount. If you have small children, you may just choose to read a chapter a day. For kids in upper elementary or middle school, consider reading 2 or 3 chapters a day.
- Consistency over quantity. Establish your daily Bible reading plan with a chapter a day at first. It is more important to be consistently in God’s Word together than it is to power through a book in a sitting.
- Consider skipping sensitive chapters with your small people. I think it is important to read the whole Bible with your high schoolers. With your first grader, however, there are some stories in Scripture that are best left until they are more mature.
- Your high school students can read sensitive chapters on their own and then discuss them with you, if you prefer not to have your five-year-old exposed to more graphic content.
- Commit it in writing. Before reading a book of the Bible together, skim over it and choose the chapters you’ll read. Write down your daily Bible reading schedule for that book of the Bible.
- Give yourself grace. Did you miss a day of Bible reading? Continue the next day. Do you have a really busy day on Wednesdays with the middle-of-the-week church? Consider skipping your family Bible reading Wednesdays.
Encouragement from Moms Just Like You
- My experience over 25 years parenting 11 kiddos has been that the Word is very relevant and is never too big or too hard. Occasionally a story might get skipped due to a graphic situation, but in general that is rare. I find my kids can handle much more challenging reading when I read it aloud than they ever could independently, so I just don’t worry about it being too hard. I figure they will all hear me read the whole Bible several times over their childhoods—and I’m happy with that. – Caroline Landon, USA, 11 kids, ages 5-25
- I was concerned that they would not be able to understand the Bible and would ask me questions I couldn’t answer. We have found they understand most of the Bible and the questions they ask cause us to learn more because we are digging into God’s Word and praying for the answers. – Tonya Hardy, USA, 5 kids, ages 9-16
Reading the Bible as a family is rewarding, important, and manageable. You can do this!