Is there time for Bible study in your new school routine?
Routines are very important.
I have a “love-hate” relationship with routine. I hate being regimented. Too much routine and I go stir crazy. On the other hand, too little routine and I go nuts too. More accurately, that’s when my life seems to fall apart and I get sick. I’ve been searching for years for that happy medium of enough routine to keep me on task and healthy with enough flexibility to keep my creative mind and spirit happy. In short, my mind hates the fact that my body loves routine.
Can you relate? Does this make you think of anyone else in your family? Maybe your kids?
Believe it or not, kids need routine. There is a bit of security in knowing life has a bit of order to it. It also teaches responsibility. When you get up in the morning, what must happen before you go to school? Before you go to bed? Those are routines.
With school right around the corner, chances are you are beginning to think about the new school routine. Will it include daily Bible study for you and your family?
If you are not intentional about reading the Bible,
it probably will not happen.
The best way to create new habits is to build on existing ones
Find a usual time to do it, preferably connected with something else you already do. Build on habits you already have. It might work well to piggy pack on a meal you usually have with your family. After you say grace and serve the meal, someone could read the Bible and lead the devotional discussion. That is building on a habit you already have.
Perhaps your family is always on the go. Why not have your devotional time sitting in the car in the parking lot 5 minutes before you have to be somewhere you need to be each day?
Then there are more traditional times. You could incorporate it into your morning routine. Maybe it would work better before you go to bed. You could make it part of your bedtime story routine.
The idea is to find a consistent time with something you already do which will jog your memory so you won’t forget to read God’s Word every day.
“Blessed is the one…
whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.”
Set realistic goals.
If you’ve never done Bible study before, you won’t be doing an hour a night right off the bat. Sorry. That’s not how this works.
If you try, you might be the super disciplined type that can do it and succeed. If you do, I’ll be really impressed and I want to know your secret. Chances are, though, you’ll do great for a day or two, then mess up, get discouraged, and quit all together. Please don’t do that.
Start small and build from there.
- Begin by spending 5 minutes a day reading the Bible and praying. Just 5 minutes. Can you manage that much?
Set a timer if that helps. Then you’ll know exactly how much time is left and you won’t be worried you’ll go too short or long.
- Choose a Bible reading plan so you’ll always know what to read next.
You might choose a devotional to use (here’s a sample our Devotional for Busy Families) or work your way through a book of the Bible (like one of the Gospels). Write down any questions you have so you can ask someone knowledgeable about them later.
- Be sure to pray and ask God to help you as you study His Word. Ask Him to teach you and show you how to live out what you learn.
Creating new habits takes time.
The experts say it takes 6 weeks to develop a new habit. That seems like a long time. Think of it more like one day at a time. Just commit yourself not to quit trying for at least a month.
Yes, you are human. You will have good days and bad bad days. Give yourself grace when you fail, but try to learn from them for the future. “Next time I’ll try this…”
(If I had a nickle for every time I said or heard that, I’d be a rich woman! Still, I don’t make the same mistakes I made 10 years ago nearly as often. Others cycle around and I’m working on them in a different form once again. Like I said, creating new habits takes time—sometimes lots of time.)
Don’t get discouraged!
“Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
Remember why you are making this change.
God wants to spend time with you and teach you more about Himself. He loves you!
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.’”
How do you do your Bible study? What tips would you give someone trying to start a new habit? Share your stories and ideas in the comments below.
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