Every other Monday our family joins together with others for small group. A time of encouraging one another in faith, teaching, prayer and fellowship. Still in it's formative stage, we have decided to do a study called, Faith Begins at Home by Mark Holmen. I highly recommend it as it is an excellent read but more importantly, it is changing our home.
Upon returning home from small group it could have been like any other night. The Olympics were on and I could have easily settled myself in front of the TV, cheering on Team USA. My husband had another plan. A challenge.
It went like this. He challenged the kids to find every bible in the house that they could find. For the next ten minutes we searched every room, pulling bibles off of book shelves, head boards, out of desks, and bins. Then we gathered in the living room with all that we had discovered. What happened next will be a cherished moment for the rest of my life!
He asked the kids to tell where they had found each bible, who it belonged to and the last time it was read. WOW! They varied in their locations found, in whom they belonged to and the last time they were read. One had been opened that day, another a week past, but more likely months and some well over a year. Then my dear husband, whom I was falling more and more in love with as this evening past, asked each kid to share 3 stories they knew from the bible. Daniel and the Lion's Den, David and Goliath, Noah's Ark, Isaac's Blessing and Jesus Walking on the Water. Then mom and dad shared the stories that came to our minds. And for 30 minutes plus as a family we shared. Remember the time...Jesus turned water into wine, the fisherman cast their nets and Jesus told them to throw it on the other side....AND when they did there were A TON of fish. or the time that Jesus took the little boy's bread and fish...how many was it...2 and 5 ...2 fish and 5 bread??? On and on the stories poured out from the hearts of my family members. Twinkling eyes as details we told. Love overflowing. Reacquainted with old friends in the Word. It truly was something beautiful.
As the night came to an end my husband issued his next challenge, find stories in the Bible they wanted to know more about; Jonah and the Whale...do you want to imagine what it was like living inside the whale? What would it have felt like, smelled like, looked like? What does the Bible say?
With full hearts the kids were sent to bed.
The next morning...My son woke up and the first thing he did bless his heart was grab his Bible. Opening it to Genesis 1:1, he began to read. He read and read until I pried him away to eat some breakfast. As soon as he was finished eating, he went back to his chair, picked the Bible back up and continued on. School time came and he looked at me with hungry eyes, "Mom, can I still read my Bible?" My heart melted and any Math lesson that could have been on the days schedule was suddenly insignificant. Suddenly I found myself in that moment that I have always prayed for. I ditched the seat work and made a deal; as long as he was reading the Bible he did not have to do any seat work for the day. At any time he could stop reading, it was up to him. He chose to read. My reluctant reader CHOSE to read! For over 3 hours the boy read. Making his way through Genesis, creation, Adam and Eve, the fall of man, Cain and Abel, the genealogy to Noah, the Flood, the covenant of the rainbow and the son's of Noah. He read 10 complete chapters. Calling out excitedly during different parts of his reading. "MOM, did you know Adam lived to be 930 YEARS OLD!" Me thinking that maybe I could slip a little bit of math into his morning called back, "Can you even count by 10's to 930?" He can and he did remarking, "THAT'S OLD!"
Long ago it used to be that a child was taught to read for one reason and one reason alone, so that they may be able to read for themselves the Word of God. It used to be that the only book a family owned was the family Bible. Now it seems to be a book of many, hidden away on a shelf or lost under a layer of dust. May it never again be true for this house.
I went to a homeschool conference just a few weeks ago and during it I was reminded, all that we need to know can be found in the Bible. Reading, Math, Science, Geology, History, Geography, Family Relations, Sex Ed, Health, Genealogy, Manners, Morals...the list is long. If we accomplish nothing else this school year I will be content in this. My son has found a love for the Word of God and this is yet again something beautiful!