Any new parents out there? Our little one just turned 7 months last week. What does the nighttime routine look like in your house? Ours looks a bit like this: toys are everywhere, dishes piled in the sink- we’ll get to those up later. Dirty clothes go in the laundry basket, dirty diaper goes in the genie, bath time, change her diaper (again), crying/smiling/squirming while we put on her pj’s, “where is her pacifier?,” turn off the lights, close the blinds, turn on the sound machine, momma tries feeding her for a bit, and/or there’s crying/smiling/squirming while we warm up the milk, pray that she falls asleep fast, take some deep breaths. Ahhhh.
Bedtime can be challenging at times and can turn into a monotonous, tiring regimen. When our daughter, Reese, was born, we were given this great little baby Bible called “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” It is an amazing resource that my wife and I highly recommend! Every night, despite long work days and certain exhaustion- we have made it a point to read one story from the book over our baby girl. This breaks up the nightly routine and causes us to slow down and reflect on the Lord as a family. Earlier this week, we finished reading through the entire book, and decided to start again from the beginning.
I never really understood why it would be important to read to a baby, but since we have been doing it, I have discovered 3 great reasons to read scripture over your newborn:
1. It is a time for connection. Proverbs 18:21 teaches us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
I’ve said this before but I really believe that of all the tools God gave us to raise a child, the most powerful is our tongue. Loving words breed trust and closeness, harsh words bring division and shame. Taking a moment every day to speak words of life over our children not only connects us physically as we snuggle and read together, but it also promotes unity and builds trust and confidence.
2. There is power in repetition. Joshua 1:8 says, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
The more our children hear the promises of God and the stories of great men and women of faith, the more they memorize God’s character and understand His perspective towards them. Hearing these stories repeatedly can help our child to imagine themselves as part of a bigger story and increase their sense of hope in times of worry or trouble.
3. It increases our faith as parents. In Acts 2:39, Peter says, “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
When we, as parents, chose to read scripture to our children, we remind ourselves of His promises. We will find comfort, power and refreshment through the intentional decision to read and pray these blessings and truths over our kids.
So even if your nightly bedtime routine looks a lot like ours, I encourage you to find some time in the busyness of the day to stop and read to your child!
You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood,
and they have given you the wisdom
to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:15 NLT
By Kegan Mosier, MA, LPCC
Husband to Mikelle
Dad of one daughter, Reese Noel
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Mental Health Counselor at Cornerstone Christian Counseling
Worship/Creative Ministries Pastor at Passionate Life Church