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Nurturing the Faith: Encouraging Grandkids to Read the Bible

Never before has passing on our heritage of faith been more important.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Even if you’re the first generation in your own family, you can still nurture an enduring legacy that can change countless lives. Finding a foundation in today’s culture is becoming harder. But the ability to connect with a strong anchor is something we can pass on to our grandkids. We do that by encouraging our grandkids to read the Bible.

I remember visiting my grandparents regularly. Their home was a happy place, filled with love, and the smell of biscuits. That love wasn’t just for their grandkids, my grandparents also had a vibrant love for Jesus.

In the homes of many of my friends, I’d often notice giant family Bibles in a place of prominence. But the Bibles in my grandparents’ home were used and well worn.

My grandfather’s Bible was black. It always sat on the table next to his Naugahyde recliner, usually with his reading classes neatly folded on top. My grandmother’s Bible was dark red and it always had a pencil and a pad of paper stuck inside.

I can still see them both, early every morning, reading and praying. I carry that image with me even now. It inspires me. And reminds me of the responsibility I have for nurturing the faith of my grandkids by encouraging them to read the Bible daily.

I don’t know if they even realized the gift they gave me—teaching by example how important God’s word is. Or if it was something they did on purpose.

No matter what, it’s something I carry with me, something I value, and something I want to pass down to my own grandkids.

Ideas to Help Us Encourage Our Grandkids to Read the Bible

Grandmother and grandchildren playing in the garden

Resources for Grandparents

Find fun and practical resources to help you draw closer to your grandchildren

Prayer is always the place to begin.

This first step may seem obvious, but it truly is the most important place to start. I recommend praying specifically for God to:

  • instill a hunger for His word in our grandchildren.
  • give us the ability to recognize opportunities to share His word with our grandkids.
  • keep us from saying or doing something that will put a barrier between His word and our grandkids.
  • send other people to reinforce the importance of God’s word in our daily lives.

Instill a Respect for God’s Word

Now, more than ever, God’s word is an anchor in our shifting world. When cultural truth is based on feelings, circumstances, and geographic location, nothing makes sense. By remembering that the Bible contains timeless and foundational truth we have a place to hang on to—a never-changing compass point to help us navigate whatever happens next.

However, our grandkids may have not been taught this truth.

While we never want to undermine the parental authority in our grandkids’ lives, we can broaden their horizons and share how we see God’s word. We can do this by sharing how God’s word relates to our lives daily.

Let Your Grandkids See the Importance of God’s Word in Our Lives.

Just like my grandparents’ bibles were always out and well-used, I make sure I keep my Bible visible. I have a special place where I like to spend quiet time reading the Bible every morning and I often use that place to read other books to my grandson. He sees his books there and he sees the books that I love there too.

I also have many plaques and even sticky notes with Bible verses on them around my house. The sticky notes change with my life circumstances and that is another good way to share how God’s word is important to me every day.

Give Them a Bible of Their Own.

I still remember receiving my first grown-up Bible from my grandparents. It was a New Living Bible and the translation was brand new. It was such a revelation to read God’s word in a language I could understand—as opposed to King James English. I still cherish that Bible.

There’s a great lesson here. When we give our kids the gift of a Bible we need to make sure it’s appropriate for them and their situation. We need to consider the size, translation, and even the look. We want God’s word to be something they use daily.

Some of my friends have been asked by their children not to give grandkids any religious books, including a Bible. We want to honor our kids, even when we disagree with their choices.

Create an Environment that Makes it Easy to Ask Questions.

We can do this by asking questions and sharing our own insights and struggles. It’s not important to have all the answers. What is important is pointing our grandkids to the One who does have all the answers.

  • Share how we incorporate daily Bible reading into our lives.

It’s also important to take time to talk about our daily Bible reading routine with our grandchildren. We can share how we choose what to read, when to read, and how to take notes.

Personally, I keep a daily journal with my prayers and notes on what I’ve read. Gifting a grandchild with a special journal for Bible notes is another way to encourage them to read the Bible.

In addition to keeping my Bible visible, I also refer to it regularly. So many of the answers I seek to daily questions are found in the Bible. I know they’re there because I’ve read the Bible most of my life. The fact that the Bible holds real answers to real questions can be a new concept in our grandchildren’s lives. It’s up to us to introduce this truth and show them the treasures found in knowing God’s word. 

  • Introduce Scripture into their lives through common sayings.

As a writer, I love words. I also love learning where phrases and sayings come from. This quest for knowledge is a great way to introduce the relevance of God’s word into the lives of our grandkids. Many of our daily sayings come directly from the Bible. For example, the phrase, “the apple of my eye” is found in Psalm 17:8. And “at their wits’ end” is found in Psalm 107:27.

  • Make Bible stories come to life.

My Grandfather also told me stories. Every night before we said goodnight, he’d tell me a bedtime story. Sometimes the stories were fairy tales. Other times he’d talk about something that had happened to him when he was a boy. But my favorite stories were the ones he’d tell from the Bible.

We must never accept the lie that whispers grandparents aren’t relevant.

We are a vital part of passing on a heritage of faith. Because of this, we must never minimize the role God has planned for us in the lives of our grandchildren. Whether we live close by or half a world away, today’s connected world gives us the opportunity to be an important part of our grandchildren’s lives. That includes encouraging our grandkids to read the Bible.

The time may be past for teaching our own children, but we can still love and serve them best by accepting the part God has for us in the lives of our grandchildren.

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