Reading a bedtime story is not enough (Which book you read matters)

I read to my son every night. It is part of our bedtime routine. I thought I was a being a good parent. All the teachers and librarians and development experts say we must infuse a love for reading into our children at a young age.

“Read a book- Sing a song – Go to bed!” That is our routine. I recite it to my son nearly every evening.

When it’s nearing time for sleep, I tell him those three things that we are about to do so that he knows I’m firm about bedtime. He seems to enjoy the predictability of the routine, and he smiles as he says the cue words with me.

Little did I know I was missing out on a HUGE opportunity to bring faith naturally into our routine.

We should be reading a Bible story to our children every night. 

When a friend mentioned that she does this with her kids, I couldn’t believe I’d missed doing this with my own kids. As a pastor, I encourage adults to read the Bible daily. It’s a standard part of “quiet time” with God. In order to grow in faith, we need to read Scripture and pray every day.

It’s such an obvious thing I need in my own life, but I’d failed to translate that to my kid’s routine. But not anymore. We’re reading the Bible daily.

We already had a couple Children’s Bible story books. But I decided I wanted even more options. So I went to Half Price Books and grabbed a bunch. (I went a little overboard!) I was honestly overwhelmed with all the options at the book store.

I went expecting to find 10 options, but there are more like 300 options! There was an entire book case dedicated to children’s Bibles!

So this is how we do it: After teeth are brushed, the potty is used, lotion and pajamas are on and we are ready to settle into the arm chair in his room, I grab the kid Bible book from the side table. I tell him this is the book we will read. And he happily complies.

After we read a few or several pages, I will often let him pick a second book. Any book he wants. But if I’m pressed for time, it’s just the Bible.

At age two, my son has happily complied with my choice of the book.

I use an excited voice to talk about Jesus – or Moses – or whoever we’re focusing on that day. He likes the pictures. There are lots of animals for him to point out. He asks me about the names of the people on the pages.

Over time, these stories are going to work their way into his brain and become the foundation of his life. They are my foundation.

They are one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Let’s plant a love for God’s story in our children from the beginning.

(This is the reading wall in our son’s room. We love books! Now it’s time to share our love for the Bible.)


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