Oct 5, 2009

Finding Time for the Bible

I admit it. Some days the only Bible I read is a children's Bible. As the mother of two small children, it's a real challenge to find adult reading time. Yet the Bible admonishes us to nurture ourselves with God's word (Deut. 11:18, 1 Pet. 2:1-3), to equip ourselves to serve God with it (2 2 Tim. 3:17, Eph. 6:17), to help us steer clear of sin by reading it (Ps. 119:11)...and who can forget the lesson of how Jesus beat back Satan by quoting Scripture (Mat. 4)?

If you're having trouble getting time in for the Word, here are some tips that may help:

* Get up early. If you can get out of bed before anyone else does (or at least before the children do), spend some time with the Bible, and not negatively impact your parenting and spousal skills, this may be the best solution for you. Unfortunately, I require every minute of sleep I can get, so this doesn't work for me.

* Use nap time. It's tempting to use nap time for chores, but try using for something much more important. When your little ones are snoozing, read the Bible and spend some time with the Lord. You'll be a better mommy for it. Again, this unfortunately doesn't work for me, as nap time is one time I can work on business matters without taking myself away from the children.

* Listen to the Bible. If you can block out the noise of your little ones and focus on an audio version of the Bible, this is an excellent choice for you. Personally, I need to read the words for them to really sink in.

* Use movie time. If your little ones are at least two years old, you can set them in front of an educational DVD and sit nearby with your Bible. This sometimes works for me, but if my older child is watching a DVD, I'm usually either caring for the baby or doing business work.

* Read to your child. I began doing this when my daughter was about three. In the mornings, after I get the baby fed and changed and give my daughter a cup of juice, I sit down with some tea and open my Bible. Sometimes I read silently, but usually my daughter wants me to read out loud to her. She sits quietly beside me or plays quietly nearby and listens - which not only means I get some Bible time in, but she's benefiting from the Word, too. (Some caution is necessary here, unless you're willing to explain difficult topics like rape to a small child...)

* Settle for less. Pre-kid, you may have read chapters of the Bible in one sitting. But now that you have little ones, you need to lower your expectations. If you can read a whole chapter in one sitting, good for you. Otherwise, even reading and meditating on a single verse is an excellent thing.

* Pray about it. God wants you to have time for the Bible, so pray, asking him to help you find or make the time.

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