how to chose a bible
The beach is my happy place. There are few experiences that allow me to disconnect from the worries of this world and connect with God more than the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. We only live about a mile from the beach and we spend most of our summer afternoons there. My boys usually argue with me about going to the beach, which makes me wonder how we're even related, but they never fail to enjoy it. Even in the winter, we pile on layers of clothing, grab a ball, and head to the water's edge for a rowdy game of family football.
But there was one particular day at the beach, several summers ago, that is forever etched in my memory. It was one of the first beautiful days of summer, so I packed up the cooler and took all three boys to the beach. We arrived at our usual spot with our beach toys, balls, and fishing nets. And while I focused on making sure Owen didn’t drown in the ocean, which he was desperately trying to do, Cal found a group of friends and quickly joined in the quest to build the best sand castle on the beach.
Brennan, however, ran straight for the water’s edge, began throwing heaps of sand into the ocean, flexing his little muscles, and yelling, “Take that, you Philistines — I will defeat you!”
While I’m sure some people were looking at five year old Brennan like he’d gone mad, I couldn’t have been more proud. I knew exactly what Brennan was doing- he was pretending to be David defeating the Philistines in God’s strength.
He was acting out his favorite story in the Bible, the story of a young boy who became an unlikely hero when he fought and defeated the seemingly undefeatable giant Goliath—a story in the Old Testament that sets the stage for another, greater hero (Jesus) who would soon come to defeat an even bigger giant (sin and death). Indeed, God’s powerful Word can penetrate tender little hearts.
I am so passionate about the gift of Bible Reading that we can give to our kids because reading God’s Word is one of the primary ways our children will come to know the heart of God.
Did you know that 90% of a child's brain is developed by the time they are five years old? Their brains are little sponges, waiting to absorb the truths about God’s great love for them. These stories teach our children that the Creator of the universe made them and loves them and is intimately involved in every detail of their lives. The stories reveal God’s faithfulness, his greatness, his goodness, and his grace. The Bible reminds our children that there is no detail too big or too small for our God. And most wonderfully, all of these stories point our children to the one great story woven from the very first to the very last sentence in the Bible — the story of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his life, death, resurrection, ascension, and his coming again.
While our young children cannot fully appreciate all the story has to offer, we must trust the story and the power of God’s Word. We are planting the seeds and the story will grow in meaning for them as they grow in their understanding of the gospel.
I wholeheartedly believe it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids in their earliest years – not only a love for reading but a love for reading God’s word!
It's why I dedicated an entire chapter in Parenting the Wholehearted Child to Bible Reading.
And it's why I've partnered with Zondervan to launch their "How to Chose a Bible Campaign."
Our hope is to help parents chose a Bible that is right for their child- because a key element in engaging our children in Scripture reading is using a Bible to which they can relate.
This isn't about making the Bible come alive for our kids. It already is alive and powerful. (Hebrews 4:12) In the words of R.C. Sproul, "I can’t make the Bible come alive for anyone. The Bible is already alive. It makes me come alive.”
This is about finding a Bible to which your six month old, or your six year old, or your sixteen year old can relate.
And if you feel overwhelmed by all of the choices, this brochure from Zondervan is a great tool to help you chose the right Bible for your child.
Friends, I want to encourage you in this! It is never too early and it is never too late to start reading God's word with your kids.
God will meet you right where you are. His Word is for each and every one of us.
You know this family of mine is far from perfect but what I can say with certainty is that God is faithful and I am watching His Word makes it's home in my boy's hearts, despite all of my mistakes.
And it’s in those precious moments when I get to witness them read Scripture or recite a memorized verse that I’m reminded of what the Lord says in Isaiah 55:11, “My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Open those Bibles, friends. Let it surprise you. Let it wreck you. Let it empower you. Let it heal you. There is so much grace, so much hope, & so much freedom just waiting for us and our children in God's Word.
For more encouragement in your parenting journey, purchase my newly released book: Parenting the Wholehearted Child - Your kids aren't perfect and you don't have to be either!