Somewhere between running from soccer practice to PTA meetings, you realize that you haven't done one thing for yourself the entire week. Some weeks are like that. As parents, we can feel guilty over taking time for ourselves, but time spent in scripture study strengthens our reserves and helps us face the day with proper perspective.
If you've ever felt like you can't squeeze in the time to study scripture, you're missing out on an opportunity to feed your soul and strengthen your family. Designating time every day to study the word of God helps you see your daily struggles from a more eternal perspective, and scripture study gives you greater patience and Christ-like love. To sum it up, reading scripture makes you a better spouse, parent and all-around person.
So, how can you make scripture reading a dedicated part of the day? Here are five ways to get started.
Make an appointment with yourself
If your child has a dentist appointment, you wouldn't blow it off if the day got busy. Appointments are the busyness in our day. Don't let less important obligations crowd out your daily appointment with the word of God. Write down your time to study scripture on the family calendar, and treat the block of time the same as any other pressing appointment. In the eternal perspective, reading scripture and praying are some of the most important things you'll do each day.
Minimize your distractions
We love our little ones, but noisy kids aren't conducive to meditating on deep scripture. Schedule your scripture reading at a time when the kids are away and you can turn off all other digital distractions. If the phone rings during your study, ignore it. There are very few distractions that can't wait 10 minutes for your attention. Some people find it best to study early in the morning before everyone else gets up. Others do better scheduling their scripture time at night when the to-do list is done and the day is winding down. There are no right or wrong times to read scripture. Do what works best for you.
Meditate on the word, study
Reading is nice but quickly forgotten. Make the most of your study time by really committing to study. Grab some colored pencils to mark meaningful passages and take notes in the margins. You may even want to use a scripture journal to write thoughts and impressions you get while reading. This attention to detail will keep your mind engaged and help you stay on task for longer periods of time. It's also fun to go back to a book of scripture you studied years ago and have a record of what touched your heart at that time in your life.
Be accountable to a group
A Bible study group, Sunday school class or companion study with your spouse can help you stay excited about following through on your daily reading. Having a group of like-minded individuals to discuss doctrine with motivates you to dig deeper and look for the meaning in what you're reading. It also helps to have a group that monitors your progress and outlines a suggested reading schedule. If you feel like you might fall behind if you miss a day, you're much more likely to stay on track in your study.
Look for the blessings
Reading scripture on a regular basis will make you feel closer to God. Acknowledge this feeling of peace in your life as a blessing for your diligence. Look for other ways your dedicated study blesses you and your family, whether it be a calmer household or impressions of how to solve a problem. God will bless the willing student, and looking for His blessings will keep you motivated to read His word.
God is willing and waiting to bless you through His word. Even if you can only spare five minutes a day, any amount of time spent studying scripture will bless you and your entire family. Don't think about all the other things that need your attention during your study time; feeding your soul is one of the most important things you can do each day.