Christine's Corner: Reading the Bible With Children
The Bible is our holy text, and yet sometimes it can be so confusing and hard to read, especially with children. Here are some thoughts and ideas for reading the Bible at home with children:
Find a good children’s Bible — Having a good children’s Bible does a lot of the work for you in terms of helping to make the passages accessible to children. There are three recommendations below, or do your own searching among the options out there. Be sure to read through the passion narrative to see if you are comfortable with the way it’s portrayed, and don’t overlook the pictures.
Re-read the passages you read at church — Stumped about what to read? Re-read and review the passages that were talked about in your church.
Try Bible Art Journaling — There are tons of examples of beautiful art that you can make using Bible stories as an inspiration, including specific journaling Bibles you can buy. It’s a great way to remind children that we can use all of our senses and talents when we read through the Bible.
Try reading through a book of the Bible — Reading through the Bible gives a great sense of accomplishment. I recommend starting with one of the Gospels and reading through the story of Jesus to start.
Remember: not everything in the Bible is suitable for children — There’s nothing wrong with censoring parts of the Bible for young children. There are many themes and passages that are simply not appropriate for young children.
Faith Practice Spotlight: Lectio Divina — Lectio Divina means divine reading and is an ancient practice of reading one passage several times through and seeing how the Holy Spirit opens up your interpretation of it. There are many different ways to approach it. Here’s a simple version:
Step one, read. — Read through the passage, out loud. Note any verse or word that stands out to you.
Step two, meditate — Read through the passage again, out loud. Think about how it connects to your life.
Step three, pray — Read through the passage a third time, out loud. Consider if God is speaking to you through this passage. What is God saying to you about it? What would you like to say to God about it?
Step four, contemplate — Read through the passage one final time. Consider if there is any action you’d like to take as a result of the passage.
Note: If you do lectio divina as a family, take turns reading the passage out loud. There are many guides and different approaches to lectio divina. Experiment until you find one that works for you and your family!
Reading the Bible Links:
Children’s Bibles: Growing in God’s Love, Celebrate Wonder, Children of God Storybook Bible
A helpful article: Six Ways of Reading the Bible from Illustrated Ministry
A place to start with reading plans: there are so many different reading plans HERE, and you can choose the version of the Bible you wish to receive. Always screen the passages before reading with children.
(Thanks to Traci Smith and her Treasure Box Tuesdays for the ideas for this article.)