"Daddy, what’s embalming?”
As I stumbled over my words with the grace of a one-legged unicyclist, I couldn’t help but smile. We had just finished our daily Bible reading when my curious 9-year-old asked me about Genesis 50:26 (NKJV): “So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”
That question led to a longer conversation about the resurrection of believers and our hope for a glorified body.
It was amazing!
Conversations like those are a regular occurrence around our house lately. God is making Himself known to our kids in their curiosity. He is helping them build a foundation of faith in one of the simplest ways: regular Bible reading.
That’s it. There’s no gimmick. I don’t have a special discount for the next 100 callers. All I have is a simple encouragement to gather as a family and regularly read the Bible aloud.
When we gather around the Bible and read its words, we’re joining with those earliest believers who sat in hushed anticipation as Scripture was read for all to hear. When we read the Bible together aloud, we connect with God and each other in a sacred way. Something unifying and, dare I say, electrifying happens when we hear the Sacred Writ in community.
This spiritual practice is one of the ways we’ve built a family altar. It's our attempt at creating a culture where the Bible is part of our everyday lives. We wade into the beautiful encouragement found in the promises of God. We also wrestle with the difficult passages and embrace the questions that are part of growing deep spiritual roots.
Can we answer every question? No. And that’s okay. If answering every question was the starting point, we wouldn’t be able to engage in any disciplines like science, literature, history, or any other area where unanswered questions live. While we can’t answer every question, we can give our children opportunities to experience God outside the Sunday morning environment. We want them to see that the Bible is not the official textbook of Sunday church, but it’s also a vital part of our family dynamic.
As you seek to make Jesus a regular fixture in your family dynamic, carve out time to read the Bible together. Build a family altar around the regular practice of listening to God's Word. It doesn't have to be complicated. For example, you can find a devotional plan in the YouVersion Bible App, use a Bible-in-a-year plan, or camp out in the Gospel of John for a few weeks. Don't overcomplicate this. Just set aside time to read the Bible with your kids. Make room for questions.
Oh, and don't have all the answers. God is more than capable of meeting our kids in their questions.
Reading God’s Word with your family takes extra work; we have to make changes in the daily rhythm of our lives. We may even have an awkward “Daddy, what’s embalming?” moment. Even so, it’s worth it.
So be intentional, circle the wagons, and read the Bible aloud. It’s one small step, but as we learned from Neil Armstrong many years ago, one small step is also one giant leap in the right direction.