There’s been a lot of talk over the past few years about family worship, also referred to as family discipleship.
Have you ever wondered if it’s really all that important to read the Bible with your family?
Could it really be a part of God’s plan to study the Bible with your whole family?
Is it even possible to read the Bible with all your kids at the same time?
As homeschool parents, we do have the opportunity to spend our Bible time with all of our children at once. Not only does it make the process easier–it looks pretty biblical, as well.
Why Read and Study the Bible with Your Whole Family?
I always like to look to God’s original design when considering how we should function in our lives.
Just like God established the church, he established families—and he directs families to worship together.
In the Old Testament, as we see in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Joel, families are called to stand together for the public reading of God’s Word—even the smallest people.
While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. – Ezra 10:1, ESV
In Ezra, children were included in the assembly of the Lord.
And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. – Nehemiah 8:1-3
The book of Nehemiah also describes children in the assembly, listening to the Book of the Law of Moses. Nehemiah 12:43 refers to children rejoicing with the people.
…gather the people.
Consecrate the congregation;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her chamber. – Joel 2:16, ESV
In Joel, the assembly even includes nursing infants.
Not only are we to worship our Lord together in the larger body of Christ. We are also called to worship God as a family. Deuteronomy chapters 6 and 11 have, perhaps, some of the best known, direct commands to do so.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Read the Bible with Family
- That God’s Word is important
- That we can learn about the Bible together, and from each other
- That our family has committed “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15b)
There is great value, too, in being able to guide our kids through the Bible. We want to be able to help point them—over and over again—to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- It is so vital that our kids learn who God is—that he is sovereign and holy.
- They need to know that we are sinful and that our sin separates us from a holy and just God.
- We want to communicate over and over again that God loves us so much that he had a great plan for our salvation since before the beginning of the world, and Jesus—God the Son and the Son of God—became fully God and fully man so he could live a sinless life and take the punishment for our sins.
- We need only to believe on him and confess in with our mouths, turning from our sin—repenting—and we will be saved.
- We also want our kids to understand Jesus’ commands to his followers.
Not only can we study the Bible as a family, it is really important that we do. Our kids need our guidance and support understanding the most important book in the universe.
Danika Cooley’s book Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible is your crash course on teaching the Bible to your kids. Danika is an award-winning children’s author and Bible curriculum developer, and her popular Bible Road Trip™ is used by tens of thousands of families.