Can Children Understand the Bible?

I recently read an article written by Michael Hyatt in which he described his experiences as a child reading the Bible.

“I remember the first time I tried to read the Bible for myself. I found my grandfather’s copy on a shelf in his living room. I was nine years old. I sat down on the floor cross-legged, with the Bible on my lap. I opened it slowly…reverently…and began to read.

The Bible is God's Living Word, and it is written for children and adults! You can intentionally teach your children that God's Word is for them.

  • I was fascinated by God’s creation of the heavens, earth, and man in Genesis 1-2.
  • I was swept into the drama of man’s temptation and fall in Genesis 3.
  • I was saddened by Cain’s murder of Abel in Genesis 4.

I felt like I had discovered a lost book-the key to the universe! I was captivated.

Then I hit the “begats” in Genesis 5.

Oh boy.

My eyes glazed over.

I closed the Bible, stood up, and slipped it back on the shelf. I didn’t pick it up again for another ten years.”
(Excerpt from How to Read the Bible and Enjoy It by Michael Hyatt)

This quote breaks my heart. Michael lost ten years of his childhood, ten years when he was developing his own moral compass and learning all about life, when he could have been absorbing God’s Word. He was interested in the Bible, but decided that the Bible was just too hard for him to understand or too boring.

As adults, we can often believe this lie ourselves, and we can pass this attitude on to our children without even being aware of it. If we are not intentionally teaching our children that the Bible is for them and that they can understand it, they may fall into the trap of thinking of the Bible as being boring and beyond their reach.

So, let me ask you: Do you truly believe that the Bible holds the answers to life? Do you believe that the Bible can teach each one of us Who God is, who we are before this Almighty and Holy God, and how we can have a relationship with Him for all eternity? Do you believe that the Bible should be our moral compass, directing us through life?

Do you believe that the Bible is every bit as important for your children to know as how to read or the multiplication table?

Or, do you believe that the Bible is too boring or too hard to understand?

Boy reading Bible

You can teach your kids that the Bible is for them. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

*Be consistent in your own time of prayer and Bible study.

This doesn’t have to be long or difficult, but you should be making a priority of spending time with God by yourself everyday, opening your heart to His Spirit, and seeking instruction from His Word. You will be amazed at how God gives you exactly the wisdom, comfort, and conviction that you need for the day from your Bible reading. As you become more excited about the Bible, you will be able to pass this excitement on to your kids.

*Set aside ten to fifteen minutes a day for family Bible study.

This small, every-day consistent choice will start to add up to something better, something bigger, something beautiful – if you stay with it, making the choice day after day to spend time in God’s Word as a family, even when you don’t feel like it. Your children will begin to see that your faith is important to you when you are willing to make sacrifices for it.

*Start small.

Choose a Psalm to read each day, a couple of Proverbs to discuss, or a chapter from the Gospel of John. Seek out a good family Bible study or devotional that will be age-appropriate and beneficial for your family. Path Through the Narrow Gate offers many recommendations of good devotionals that you can purchase to get you started in family Bible study.

The Bible is God’s Living Word, and it is written for children and adults! You can intentionally teach your children that God’s Word is for them. Don’t let this important lesson slip out of your family’s schedule!

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