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How Overwhelmed Parents Can Find Time for God’s Word

With so many distractions, staying focused on God’s Word requires intentional effort, but it doesn’t have to be hard to do.

In my earliest days of parenting, I kept a Bible on my bedside table and another by my nursing chair. Every morning, I’d reach for my brown leather-bound Bible and pick up reading where I’d left off the day before.

Starting my blessed but busy days with the Lord was a natural rhythm in my life. It influenced my words and kept me loving my family. The ongoing reminders of His grace helped me remain gracious and kind.

Then I purchased my first smartphone when my two oldest boys were three and one, and I was pregnant with our third son. Looking back, I wonder how “smart” it was for me to get that phone during such a busy mothering season. Of course, at the time I didn’t know that this device would become a distraction, keeping me from fully being present with my family and the Lord.

With all the ringing and dinging and interacting with family and friends, connecting with the Lord became more of a struggle. Often, I found myself reaching over my Bible for my phone first thing in the morning. Even when I intentionally opened my Bible app, I became unintentionally distracted by notifications.

Now, more than a decade later, I find I’m not alone in this struggle. Many Bible-believing moms are not Bible-reading moms. Distractions, exhaustion, laziness and even hopelessness threaten our faithfulness and leave us feeling helpless.

I’ve since regained a rhythm to my mornings and realigned my priorities using three simple ways to become a Bible-reading mom once again.

1. Seek God First

Many parents struggle with seeking the Lord first thing in the morning because their children always seem to rise before they do. There’s a Scripture that speaks of bringing God “the best of the firstfruits of your ground” (Exodus 34:26). While this verse is about offering God the produce of the land, I love the application to our busy lives.

When we offer God the firstfruits, or earliest moments, of each day, we are telling Him that we trust Him to guide us through our entire day. As a result, we parent our kids more like our heavenly Father parents us, with the fruit of His Spirit on display in our lives.

You may not be able to offer God the first moments of your day if you have little ones requiring your attention. But as soon as you’ve taken care of your children’s needs and have a few moments of your own, offer those moments to the Lord.

“The Word before the world” has become my morning motto. Before I engage the world online, I make sure I’ve opened myself up to the One who made the world and set me very purposefully in it.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus invites us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” I like to think of it this way: Seek God first, and everything else will fall into its rightful place. Unfortunately, when we turn our attention to other things first, our affection for Christ falls from first place to a distant second. Whether your phone or your friends or your morning trip to Starbucks is tempting you to veer off course, commit to keeping God first in your life.

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2. Snack on God’s Word Throughout the Day

As a parent, you’re probably wonderful at packing crackers and sippy cups when you’re on the go with your children. Consider bringing God’s Word with you as well. If a verse or passage resonates with you during your morning Bible reading, jot it on a note card and tuck it in your pocket or purse, or highlight it in your Bible app, and then meditate on it throughout the day.

Another way to recall God’s Word is listening to an audio Bible while you’re driving or doing chores. You can pause it when you’re interrupted, and even if you listen only a few minutes each day, those moments will be well spent.

Reading and rereading Scripture shapes not only our lives but also the lives of our children as they watch us and learn from us. Modeling a love for God’s Word is one of the most powerful things we can do in our homes. Then as our children grow, we want to invite them into God’s Word with us.

3. Serve Up the Word

Some moms and dads feel unsure about sharing God’s Word with their children, but here’s something I’m absolutely sure of: If you have a Bible, you have everything you need to open up rich conversations with your kids about God and His plan for them. You don’t need to have a thorough knowledge of the biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation, and you don’t need to know how to apply it to every aspect of your life. The Holy Spirit, who inspired the writing of the Word, will inspire you.

If your kids are young, consider leading them through a children’s storybook Bible with engaging pictures and age-appropriate text. As your children get older, transition into reading the Bible together. Start in the Gospels and keep your reading time short when they’re young.

At the end of each day’s passage, ask them these simple questions:

• What did you learn about God?

• What did you learn about yourself?

• How should you live differently as a result?

Keeping your time in God’s Word simple will help you make Bible-reading a family habit, whether in the morning at the breakfast table or in bed at the end of each day. Keep it simple so you can simply keep at it, day after day, with the children the Lord has entrusted to you.

Remember that Bible-believing moms and dads who are Bible-reading moms and dads should ultimately become Bible-leading moms and dads. Let’s lead our children to believe and read the Word for themselves as they grow to love God, too.

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