This morning, a small group of dads in our church gathered for our Dads’ Reading Group. In this 4-week gathering, we are reading out loud and discussing Jon Nielson’s wonderful little book, Bible Reading with Your Kids (Matthias Media, 2017).
First, we spent some time reading Psalm 78:1-8 and took notice of the key role fathers play in the passing of biblical truths from one generation to the next. Then we read Chapter 2 in Jon Nielson’s book. The chapter consisted of four practical reasons we should read the Bible with our kids.
- The Fatherhood Factor: “Like it or not, for both boys and girls, the spiritual engagement of their father is statistically the most influential factor in determining whether they grow up to identify as Christian and attend church regularly.” The author then references a 1994 study from Switzerland, which concluded that for children of parents who both attended church, 33% grew up to attend church regularly. While only 3% did the same when only Mom took them to church.
- The Relationship Factor: “By committing to read the Bible regularly with our children early on in their lives, we are helping to lay a foundation for an ongoing relationship with them that will be founded—at least in part—on regular engagement with God’s Word.”
- The Capacity Factor: Many Christian parents underestimate the ability of their kids to grasp spiritual truths, even difficult ones. “Our kids can pick up more than just the stories, from an early age.”
- The Relevance Factor: The Bible is not only relevant for adults, “it is extremely relevant and applicable to the lives of children too….Children are growing up in a world confused about gender and sexuality; the Bible shows them God’s good created order and intention for us.”
Fellow dads, our kids will take their spiritual cues from us. If we are not men of the Word or, through passivity, we let our wives set the spiritual tone in the home, our kids will typically follow. Men, it’s time to take the lead! A good step in the right direction is to read and being applying Jon Nielson’s book, Bible Reading with Your Kids.