Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Healthy Living

I have witnessed something shocking to me...a few months ago my husband made a decision to start reading from the Bible to the kids almost every night. Logically, he started at the very beginning in Genesis. And realistically the kids wouldn't sit still, pay attention or even want him to read this. Those first few weeks when they would see him coming into one of their bedrooms with the Bible they would cringe or complain.

I was ashamed of their behavior. I hated that they reacted this way to God's word. I tried to think of why their behavior was like this. So I blamed my husband for not reading more interesting passages to them. He never elaborated on the verses, never asked them questions about what they learned from it. He would just read.

The shocking moment came when he wasn't home to read to them one night and they asked me to read from the Bible to them. Wait. They asked me to read the Bible to them?? So when I sat down to read they showed me just where dad had left off. So they were paying some attention! They didn't sit completely still and they would still butt in with some random question or thought, but I would gently bring them back to the task at hand.

And after I read to them, I felt something change in me with my own perception of the Bible. After reading to them here and there, I actually wanted to read more myself. I had grown up revering God's word, memorizing Scripture, being taught Bible stories day in and day out, and even leading Children's Church myself. But in almost every circumstance it was using a Biblical guide or textbook. Some form of book that would usually take one verse or theme and then give an interesting briefing about it. I never fully realized God's Holy words.

Looking at the change in my kids' attitudes & my own regarding the Bible, it seems analogous to healthy eating and exercise. I knew it was the best option for me, but intimidated by it. It takes will power to just start.

I want to raise our kids up right. So I search for the right devotional. Just like I know I want to eat healthy, so I search for the right diet. I made it way harder than it really is. Just cut out the bad and replace with the good. I don't have to keep searching for the right book when I already have the Perfect book. At first it's difficult work to eat right and exercise, but the more you do it, the better you feel. Same with reading the Bible.

While reading the daily devotionals, Bible study books, and other material are all fine, it's kind of like eating a multi-vitamin in place of meals. Yeah they can be healthy and you get your daily dose of vitamins, but you're still hungry and not necessarily in good shape. Reading the Bible takes work. You feel conviction and many times confusion or just a sense of being overwhelmed. But keep at it. Along with prayer and fellowship with other believers, soon you'll grow. Discernment and wisdom will come and understanding will set in.

Reading those words in red type that Jesus spoke is so much more powerful than reading some scholar's interpretation of them. Just like eating a meal is more filling than drinking an ensure.