This post was originally published in 2009.
I admit it. Some days the only Bible I read is a children's picture 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 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 (Matt. 4)?
If you're having trouble finding time for the Word, here are some tips that may help:
* Get up early. If you can get out of bed before anyone else (or at least before the children), spend time with the Bible. If this will not negatively impact your parenting and spousal skills (sleep deprivation can turn me into a totally different woman!), this may be the best solution for you.
* Use nap time. I always find it tempting to use the rare times my children nap to catch up on household chores. But it's better to use these precious minutes for something more important: When your little ones are snoozing, read the Bible and spend time with the Lord.
* Listen to the Bible. If you can block out the noise of your little ones (Earbuds, anyone?) and focus on an audio version of the Bible, this is an excellent way to get some time with the Word.
* Use movie time. Once my little ones are at least two years old, I find it acceptable to plop them down in front of an educational DVD. An excellent use of this time for me is to sit nearby, reading my Bible.
* Read to your child. I began doing this when my daughter was about 3. 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 plays quietly nearby and listens - which not only means I get some Bible time in, but she's benefiting from the Word, too.
* Settle for less. Pre-kid, you may have read chapters of the Bible in one sitting. But now that you have little ones, it's okay to lower your expectations. 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.