by Mary Allen
A Potpourri of Essays about the Family, the Home, and Parenting
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Q: I want to institute daily Bible reading into our family time, but with conflicting schedules, short attention spans and children that range in age from toddler to teen it never works! Just the thought of attempting the Bible in a year is terrifying! Help!
A: Well, first of all, Happy New Year! January first is, to many people, a fresh slate. So yes, why not take advantage of a brand new year to spur your children, your mate and even…yourself…into making daily time in God’s word a priority? Here's a flexible plan that can be worked into even a very busy schedule.
Here’s a novel idea. If reading through the entire Bible in a year sounds daunting, how about just the New Testament? Perhaps you have a young reader who can’t handle the typical “3 chapters a day and 5 on Sunday” approach to reading the entire Bible through in one year…or maybe dyslexia or hectic schedules makes it difficult for you to comprehend reading that much each day…think about this New Testament reading schedule.
There are 260 chapters in the New Testament...reading one chapter a day would get you into September before you finish the book of Revelation. That would leave you with 105 days of flexibility, or, if you've kept to reading one chapter a day, to start your reading over again. With each reading, God's message becomes clearer.
Here are some tips to remember as you read, from my very godly mother. She's personally read the Bible through every year for decades, so she's got a lot of wisdom to share on the subject.
When you read a portion that is mostly names, don't worry about their pronunciation. Here's what to look for as you read:
1. Passages that help you understand just who God is and how He thinks about various things
2. Instructions from God about living a godly life
3. Facts about the events happening in the passage
4. What God says (He’s the author of the whole book) about sin
5. What He says about prayer
This will become second nature to you as you read. Just as you focus on various areas of interest as you read about training horses or dogs or whatever subject fascinates you, so you will see that this becomes second nature to look for various ideas as you read each chapter.
When reading any of the Word of God you must remember that the words you read are ‘God-breathed’. (In the original giving of the words by the Holy Spirit). Let the following Scriptures become truth to you for they are truth.
You can see where faith comes in. Faith is just believing that what God says, IS SO.
As you read through the New Testament you will find verses you want to remember. They might be promises God makes and you want to claim. They might be verses that tell how important the Bible is and that it is truly the Word of God. Make a note of them and read them again.
Just so you know, this New Testament reading plan is how our family Bible reading worked in 2009. As we went, we realized that for us, Sunday nights would have to be our "night off". Sundays are typically busy for us, ending with Awanas, a late meal, and even later bedtimes. Sometimes we would miss a weeknight and have to catch up on our reading the next night. These evening reading sessions were great opportunities to train our 5 year old to sit still and listen. As she learned to read herself, she even got excited about taking a turn--which was a great patience builder for the rest of us--as she painstakingly sounded out each word! I'm happy to report that by the end of 2009, it was "Mission Accomplished"! We're going to go for the Old Testament, or at least as much of it as possible, here in 2010!
By God's grace, you can do it too!
Rejoicing in hope...Romans 12:12
About the Author: Mary Allen is a stay-at-home, homeschooling, country-loving mom. She makes her home in the mid-west amidst Border Collies, horses, cows, a horde of chickens, her beloved husband of 16 years and their three girls. She writes articles for several online publications, including her own website, Home-Steeped Hope.
We welcome Mary to the PQ&A family! This is her first article.
Updated March 28, 2014