Have you ever pledged to complete a Bible reading plan only to fall miserably behind in the first week? I’ve been there, too. Far too often!
The next day I come to the table with a sense of guilt and a determined focus to read extra so I can catch up. Yes, learning more of God and his will for my life is deduced to a catch-up game.
Except that type of game is no fun and in the end I never really win.
I don’t want Bible reading to be drudgery. I don’t want to simply check it off a list and move on with my day or even worse snap at my kids because they’re interrupting my Bible time and I’m gonna get even further behind.
Total confession: I’ve so done that!
So why do I need to read the Bible?
I know that while I might be able to love God without spending much time in his word, just like it would be hard to continue to grow in love for my husband if I never spend time with him, it’s impossible to have the fullness of relationship that God desires to have with me. I don’t want to get to heaven and be a stranger!
I also want to make sure I have all the tools I need to please God and live a difference-making life right here and now. One of the big (HUGE) tools God gives us is his word.
So, this year I’m not making a daily goal or printing off some pretty checklist. Been there, done that! (And maybe someday it’ll work for me.)
Instead, I’m making a list of ways I can spend time in God’s word that are more enjoyable for me. Ways I can look forward to reading and hearing his word throughout my busy and often hectic days. Ways he can breathe peace into my heart and my home. Ways I can once again fall in love and build the relationship that makes all the others even possible.
Quick Insert: If you print off a Bible reading plan and joyfully follow it, I’m in no way knocking you for that. In fact, I think you’re pretty awesome!
Here are some things I’m going to do instead:
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- Grab a blanket, make a cup of hot tea, and sit next to the wood stove in the early hours. Read a few verses or a chapter, doodle in my Bible, and simply meditate on the passage and what it means for my life.
- I use Prismacolor Soft Core Colored Pencils. They glide on the thin pages of my Bible beautifully!
- These Micron Ink Pens are my favorite for using in my Bible. They are wonderfully bold without bleeding through.
- Leave my Bible open on the counter next to my planner and read it as I have a few spare minutes or when I feel myself needing a reminder of God’s love
- Type up and print out some encouraging scriptures (here are 15 to get you started). Place them around the house where I’ll see them throughout the day.
- Continue reading God’s word to and with my kids. Right now we’re reading through Jesus Calling for Kids and The Jesus Storybook Bible. I LOVE both! My husband is reading through The Action Bible with the kids each night, it’s in graphic novel format so it would be great for older children (boys especially) who may be hesitant to read the Bible on their own.
- Continue reading through Jesus Calling (it goes right along with the kid version, but I like reading both).
- Listen to the Bible through music. Seeds Family Worship’s songs are straight from scripture. We also love Scripture Lullabies (especially during quiet time–the kids and mine) and Songs for Saplings for teaching biblical truths.
- Continue to memorize scripture with my kids. We use this awesome memory box tool to learn and review scripture.
Now all of those ways of getting into God’s word sound fun to me and not at all like a chore.
Update: I’ve had some questions about the type of Bible I have. It’s a single column journaling Bible (like this one, but red). This is my dream Bible.
I enjoy reading the Bible and it is easy to read it once I get started. My problem is motivating myself to do it. Sometimes I have In Mind that it is good for me, but I feel like it is a chore and I lose interest. I should do stuff that makes it fun and then it wouldn’t feel so heavy
Tess Martins says
I love this article, and I would like to follow your suggestions, my problem is, being a fairly new Christian, I never know what to read other than the Psalms.. Any suggestions would be welcome…
A good place to start is the book of John. It really teaches of God’s great love for us.
Try the gospel of John, I read that was a good book to start with for new believers. I too wasn’t sure where to start but I’ve been through a few chapters and its really good
Try reading the Gospels. Matthew, Mark Luke and John. Can’t go wrong with the story and words of Christ. I am not new in the faith but love my New Believer’s Bible. It gives lots of answers to big questions.
Hi I had this problem too. I started by choosing a topic to read about & a little research was fun for me. I chose ” Women in the Bible “. I read the book of Ruth first & was hooked ! I could relate. Then I had knowledge and could have conversations with others. A friend gave me the book ” Jesus Calling” from having talks about my faith. Hope this helps. God’s blessings to you.
Tess, start reading the gospels starting with John and learn how Jesus walked and how much He loves you.
Sara fenton says
Get a good devotional that you enjoy that has a scripture for each day. Then after reading your devotional, go to your bible and read the scripture. You may find you’ll want to read even more after that verse or what was written before it.
I definitely struggle with this. I know that it really is a necessity for spiritual life and a true, real, genuine, and active relationship with God. But I am just so lazy and disobedient to Him sometimes, often actually. Thank you so much for this encouragement and ways to more enjoy reading God’s Word and grow closer to Him through Jesus Christ. I pray that God blesses all of us including you and I with the joy and wisdom of reading His word and growing closer to Him.
All great ideas! Here are a few more:
Ask a friend to read through a book of the bible at the same time you are and get together once a week for coffee and talk about what you are learning. You’ll look forward to the time together and it will encourage you to stick with the plan.
If you have children, choose a different Bible story each week and act out the story after dinner each evening. Use props and costumes. The kids will enjoy doing it and will also love to see mom and dad playing a role. You’ll find it will lead to great discussions and teachable moments.
If you work full time, subscribe via email to a good daily devotional or blog so that each day when you fire your computer up at work you can start the first few minutes of your day reading and contemplating God’s word.
Anita Ojeda says
I struggle at times, mostly when I’m on vacation and my routine is all messed up :). I have journaling Bible that has an entire blank page on one side so I can write lots of notes and doodles and things :). I like to read a small section over and over and underline the nouns, verbs, pronouns and references to God in different colors and then I use the journaling space to write about what those words mean to me.
Heather Greenwood says
these are really great tips… are you in the Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling group with Shanna Noel? I LOVE your Bible!
No, I haven’t heard of that group…I’ll look into it. I updated the end of the post with info on what type of Bible I have.
Heather Greenwood says
oh, your doodling made me think you were in the group or knew of Illustrated Faith… many of us use that Journaling Bible! So fun to see people illustrating in their Bibles and I LOVE your handwriting and the flower 🙂
Dr. Michelle Bengtson says
I love these ideas – so practical and will help to make spending time in the word more relaxing rather than rushed! Thanks for sharing.
I love these ideas!!! I’m not very good at keeping up myself, but I will be sure to start implementing these ideas soon!! 🙂
CouponGal (Andi) says
I definitely have a challenge with reading my Bible every day – STILL trying to figure out this one 😀
Joanne Mitchell says
I struggle with this, too. More in the past than now, but still, I do love a checklist. And like you I find myself doing what I need to do to get caught up and make sure I can say “I did it!” rather than finding peace, joy, comfort, and guidance from the God who loves me. It is sad how we make that exchange.
I have all the time in the world now that my children are grown so there is no time excuse. I get so distracted by other stuff, so I like your idea to set out your Bible in a spot where I will be sure to notice it waiting for me.
Ahh, distraction. It can get ahold of in any season of life, can’t it? Having my Bible out in a place I see all the time is like a little, on-going invitation to connect.
I got a purple womens study Bible and case. Since I love Purple I can’t miss it, and it looks inviting to me. However, I will do a devotion and do several days at one time, then slack off and pick it up later, then cram some more.