by Meredith Flynn
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Ten years after our premarital counseling, the piece of advice that sticks out above the others is a Bible verse. I wish I could report that Paul’s encouragement in Colossians 3:16 to “let the word of Christ dwell richly among you” has seasoned all of my speech for the past decade.
I can’t. But we have found speaking to one another out of the overflow of God’s word is a worthy goal. Especially once we added two daughters to our family, and particularly when statistics show biblical literacy and engagement are relatively low.
The American Bible Society reported last year that only 9% of Americans used the Bible every day. That’s the lowest percentage since the annual State of the Bible survey launched 10 years ago. The survey pointed to specific challenges in 2020, but we’ve personally experienced other factors that were in place long before the pandemic: we tend to be over-scheduled, without margin, and apathetic about prioritizing the Bible every day.
But recently, our family has stumbled into a few new ways to engage with God’s word together. These methods, helpful to us because our children are young, can be adapted for any context:
Our girls recently discovered the Slugs and Bugs series of songs based on Scripture. The lyrics are straight from the Bible and some songs have a generous helping of silliness. (“Deuteronomy 6:5,” for example, features verses sung by monsters and bumblebees.) For adults, worship leaders Shane & Shane have two albums based on the Psalms. Singing Scripture helps it take root in our hearts.
We’ve used some wonderful storybook Bibles over the years, but we recently realized the value of reading stories straight from the Bible itself. Watching the stories of Joseph or Moses stretch out over several chapters of Scripture, for instance, gives us an opportunity to talk about God’s providence and provision in each part of their lives, and ours.
Ahead of Palm Sunday, our kindergartener wanted to tell us the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. That spurred our 3-year-old to tell us the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Their retellings reminded me of that piece of biblical advice from a decade ago.
“Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meredith Day Flynn is a wife and mother of two living in Springfield. She writes on the intersection of faith, family, and current culture.
Used with permission from the Illinois Baptist.