Those who read find knowledge. Knowledge converts to wisdom through action. Therefore, those who read cultivate a lifestyle of wisdom. The connection articulates reading as an essential aspect of quality living, more specifically it should lead to the conclusion that reading Scripture is an action of priority for the Christian life.
Personally, I find great joy in reading and believe it is a priority to be imparted to our children. Admittedly, at best we have been inconsistent, especially with reading Scripture. Because of this inconsistency, the new year provided a good time to adjust by making it convenient to a time and place for us. The result has not only been more consistency, but better interaction. Out of this personal time together, guiding a time in Scripture with our family has taught me some important lessons.
First, reading Scripture to my children has taught me to process and understand what I am reading in Scripture. Sometimes reading the Bible is more of a chore than an opportunity. The mindset makes it easy to quickly read through a Scripture without processing the content so that we can check off a task on our to-do list. However, in order to have a conversation with my children about the content, I must put forth the effort to understand it myself.
The second lesson I have learned by reading the Bible to my family is how to summarize. Summarization is an important aspect of reading, a step that is often skipped. However, if an individual is unable to summarize the content, this is an indicator that the reader likely does not have a grasp of the content. If a person is unable to summarize the information, they are unable to teach the information. Reading with my children encourages me to summarize what is being read. The language in Scripture can be hard to follow and often introduce new terminology they are not familiar with, requiring me to summarize the information for them.
Finally, the opportunity to read Scripture to our children forces us to simplify what is being read. Our children are 2, 3, and 5 necessitating a clear explanation. More than offering them a summarization, we must simplify the content to younger readers. To be prepared to teach others, not just young children, one must understand the content sufficiently enough to summarize it and know it well enough to simplify it when there are questions and misunderstandings.
I am an individual who likes to talk, but even more, I enjoy using a variety of vocabulary to convey whatever is being discussed. Reading Scripture with my children though has caused me to think more intently about the recipients of what I am sharing and the need to sometimes be more precise and understandable. No doubt, reading with your children will generate an opportunity for you to develop or refine these skills as well. Therefore, read with your children and do so for their benefit and yours.
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