For many families, school will soon be out!
How about reading the Bible together this Summer?
I know what you’re thinking. Is that even possible? Reading the Bible as a family?
As someone who’s led thousands of people though the Bible, I can say it is possible, even in a home with busy teenagers. But, just like a family road trip, you need the right expectations and a solid plan.
First, let me explain what family reading does not look like. We’re not circled on the living room floor singing kum-ba-yah. Our children are not lined up performing Bible “sword drills” while mom and dad call out random passages.
Instead, we’re on a journey, tracking The Seed—from Genesis to Revelation.
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Journey of The Seed
Sometimes road trips are boring. And let’s be honest, sometimes the Bible seems boring. One rewarding strategy is to select a theme and engage everyone’s interest.
Driving long hours (at high speeds) on interstate highways becomes engaging when we’re playing “I spy” or scouting for a certain model of car.
When touring the Bible, the same strategy can also be surprisingly rewarding: high-speed reading and scouting for The Seed.
The Bible is about The Seed
A launch pad for this Seed theme is Genesis 3:15: The Seed of the woman will one day defeat the enemy and save the world.
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seedand her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (NASB)
God is talking to the serpent (Satan). The woman is Eve, “mother of all the living.” And the “seed” of the woman is her offspring. These children grow up and “begat” their own offspring, who grow up, and so on.
From the “seed” of the woman comes the very special Seed—Jesus Christ.
Journey of The Seed
Instead of studying topically, or jumping around between Old and New Testaments, have you ever read through the Bible like a detective? Have you ever followed the Journey of The Seed from Genesis to Revelation?
This approach presents the epic battle between good and evil. It’s a grander story than could ever be scripted by a Hollywood screenwriter. The Seed helps to understand the flow of the Bible—which follows the history of The Seed Family. We can then understand the interconnectedness of the main characters.
If the Bible is a script, The Seed Family is the lead cast.
Following this journey helps to explain some of our big questions, like “Why was there so much violence and warfare in the Old Testament?”—and also helps us appreciate the seeminglydry genealogies and geographies.
Are we there yet?
Traveling—and reading—at high speed sometimes means shortcuts.
For families, I’ve found that a 60-day plan which includes a selection of about thirty-three percent of the Bible is very impactful. (It only takes about twenty minutes a day to trek from Genesis to Revelation, and the passages focus on The Seed.)
When our family reads together, we’re not reading in the same room. We’re not necessarily reading at the same time.
So how are we reading “together”?
My youngest son, a high school junior, is in hot pursuit of his driver’s license. (Test date: July). Next, he’ll be working as an ESPN advisor (or so he thinks). After he works out, plays on his phone, runs around to friends’ houses, wastes some more minutes (hours) on his phone, and works a part-time shift he’ll hopefully read his Bible for twenty minutes.
My middle son, a high school senior, is like most teenage boys I suppose. He tends to do everything that’s not important (shopping for new shoes, fast food runs with buddies, surfing YouTube) before doing the things that are important (ACT test prep and college applications.)
Since he’s less of a night owl than his brother, somewhere in the middle of the day he’ll find twenty minutes of downtime, pull out his Bible, and read. He’s on board with the overall purpose and knows it will feel good to have new appreciation for the Bible in 60 days.
I’m really excited about reading with my “baby.” Our eleven-year-old is still young enough to snuggle up to me on the couch as we read together. I’ll probably read a chapter or two out loud, then she’ll read a chapter or two. We’ll experiment, and that’s the key. Sixty days is a long time for this kind of reading partnership with a youngster, so we’ll need to be diligent.
Did I mention my oldest son, a college senior? He says he’s on board with the reading plan, too. He’s crashed and burned on a few Bible reading tries lately (typical college student with good intentions), so he’s eager for redemption.
And finally, there’s my amazing wife. I won’t pester her about this summer’s family Bible reading initiative—she’s the most consistent reader in the home. She’s also the busiest one in the house, but has a habit of somehow slipping her way into the family Bible reading rhythm on her own timing.
Often she listens to the audio Bible while cruising across town in the family van. Yes, Bible listening counts as reading.
That’s how the Andersons read the Bible together.
As you can see, it’s rarely “together.” But the power of the read comes into play when we pack into the car or sit down for a meal.
A family that watches sports talks about sports. A family that reads the Bible talks about the Bible—and about God.
It happens naturally.
See the big picture
When you journey with The Seed, you can see the big-picture narrative of the Bible.
Readers of all ages can experience breakthroughs in faith by finally being able to read the Bible—but more importantly understand its central theme. You can receive my free plan by joining here.
When you embrace this 60-day journey, you’ll never see the Bible—or God—the same way again.
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