As we head into 2021 after a tempestuous 2020, one thing remains certain:
The Word of the Lord stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).
Reading God’s Word is a privilege, one we’ve cluttered up with so many different approaches:
- Is it better to read the entire Bible every year?
- Is it better to study one book or passage more in-depthly?
- What about devotionals? Do you need one to read alongside the Bible?
- Is it okay to just dive in and read whatever strikes your fancy?
- Does the translation matter?
- What about a story Bible?
Just Read Your Bible
I’d argue that reading the Bible—however you go about it—is better than not reading the Bible. (Can I get an amen?)
In other words, don’t overthink it.
My 2021 Bible-reading goal is to … read the Bible. Not necessarily all of it, although that’s rewarding, and I’ve done it before. Notably, I committed to reading the entire Bible this time last year, but I stalled in early April, tried to “catch up” in June, and finally switched to a different Bible-reading plan. My primary goal is to create the sort of Bible-reading habit that weathers the storm; remember Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom’s father reading the chapter from his Bible every morning? How precious the Bible was to them in the concentration camps?
It’s tempting to look for the “perfect plan” or approach, but the real goal is to make sure I’m in God’s Word every day. If I read one Psalm a day for all of 2021, or one chapter of Proverbs each day of the month, and did nothing else, I’d have a rich year in God’s Word. If I use a devotional that also has me reading God’s Word (and not just someone’s thoughts), I’d have a rich year. If I march through Bible study guides on particular books, I’d also have a rich year. If I “only” read the Bible with my children as we start our school day together, I’d still have a rich year.
Bottom line: the Bible doesn’t specify what approach to use for reading our Bibles. It does specify that those who love the Lord love his law. That they meditate on it day and night. God’s Word should be on our hearts, and we should be teaching his Word to our children. Reading and meditating on Scripture is the key, not the particular tool we use to help us do that.
No matter what comes in 2021, God (and his Word) remains firm.
Read the Bible With Your Children
Naturally, we have some recommendations on tools to help you get in the Word with your children in 2021. But remember: if something “shakes up” your plan, don’t give up. Just read your Bible, even if it’s the same Psalm every day this year.
First: if your children are old enough to read, they’re old enough to have a Bible! See our Mega List of Bible Reviews for some possibilities for all ages.
Exploring the Bible Together by David Murray (a yearlong study for families)
The NIV Family Reading Bible (scheduling options for various ages/stages)
Family Devotional Time (two resources)
Lent Devotionals for Protestants (family devotionals for the season of Lent which starts on Wednesday, February 17 this year)
Exploring the Bible by David Murray (a yearlong study for middle grades)
Get Your Story Straight by Kristen Hatton (a yearlong study for teens)
Related Reading at Redeemed Reader
- Musical Mondays and Theology Thursdays (a reflection on how to use biblical resources with your family)
- Quiet Time for Kids
- Quiet Time for Kids, Part Two
What are YOUR Bible-reading goals for 2021? What are your favorite resources to use with your children and teens?
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