If your daughter is between the ages of 9 and 12, she’s the perfect age to build the lifelong habit of reading God’s Word daily.
And if your daughter is between 9 and 12, she’s being bombarded by the world’s message that the things she can see, touch, taste, and buy are all that really matter.
Take a second and think about how many times a day your daughter is told by friends, television, her smart phone, iPad, computer, or a billboard that temporal things are worthy of her complete devotion.
Even us moms fight that battle. Materialism and our own personal comfort wage war against what Scripture teaches. And that’s why we need God’s Word in our lives so desperately.
We need truth to keep us on track. To remind us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20), that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).
God’s Word, “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105), is needed in our lives and our daughter’s lives to steer us straight in confusing times.
Want to encourage your daughter to stay in God’s Word? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Help your daughter buy a Bible of her own.
You take her shopping for other stuff… clothes, shoes, decorations for her room… because she’s old enough to have some say in choosing her own belongings. Why not allow her to help choose her own Bible? While we want our kids to learn to graciously receive whatever gifts they are given, it’s also important to let them have ownership in something as important as a copy of the Scriptures.
A few things to consider…
- Is your daughter the kind who will value her Bible more if she helps pay for it?
- Would it be especially meaningful to her if it is a gift from you or someone else close to her?
- Does she like shopping trips, or would she rather pick out a Bible online? (Don’t forget to check out the Faithgirlz Bibles!)
2. Consider finding a devotional book as well.
Have a conversation with your daughter about the difference between God’s Word and the words of people explaining God’s Word. Scripture is truly God’s message to us, while devotionals are merely tools to help us understand God’s message.
Encourage your daughter to prioritize reading Scripture, but remember that she’ll often need help interpreting and applying it. A devotional book can be a great supplemental tool for her.
Faithgirlz offers a great varitey of devotionals you can check out here, there are also many convenient devotional apps for your daughter’s phone or iPad, or you should be able to find devotionals at any local Christian bookstore.
3. Help create time and space for devotions.
Consider your daughter’s routine. Is she an early riser? A night owl? Does she focus best independently or in a group setting?
Ideas for creating a quiet time routine:
- Help your daughter find a comfy spot in her room for daily devotions. (Possibly include a lamp, desk, chair, beanbag chair, journal, pens, etc.)
- Invite the family to have devotions at the same time each morning. After some quiet time in the house, share cinnamon rolls together.
- Wrap up each day by turning off the tv, unwinding with quiet time and a family prayer.
There are endless possibilities. Ask your daughter for her ideas of how to make spending time in God’s Word a daily habit!
4. Stay focused on the heart, rather than the task.
As you encourage your daughter to read her Bible, remind her that it’s not about checking a chore off a list. The whole point is to allow God’s Holy Spirit to transform our hearts.
Encourage your daughter to start her quiet times with prayer, asking God to work in her life, to make her a “doer of the Word” not a “hearer only” (James 1:22).
Enjoy this journey with your daughter, Mom! It’s a privilege to lead her closer to Jesus. Share with her your own journey of walking with God. Let her know about the seasons that you may have failed to stay in God’s Word, and tell her how that impacted you. Share about the times that God’s Word has directed your ways and helped you make wise decisions.
Let your daughter see your heart, let her see your passion for Jesus and for God’s Word.
And pray for her. Pray that God will create that same passion in her!
by Jennifer Ebenhack