Encouraging an “I Spy” Desire to Read God’s Word

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

“I spy with my own little eyes.” She squinted till her eyes nearly closed and hesitated a bit as she looked around the room. “Something red.”

Her eyes rested on the big firetruck in the middle of the room and excitement wiggled all through her being. 

I pretended not to notice how intently her eyes shifted back and forth from that obvious red object. “The dinosaur,” I pointed to the picture on the opposite wall.

“Nope,” she shook her head. Her eyes returned to the big truck in the middle of the room.

“That hat.”

“No!” she squealed as if I was daft.  

“I know,” I said, “Becky’s dress.” I pointed to where her favorite doll slumped on the floor against the wall. 

“No, no, no.” She shook her head and blonde curls slapped across her little cheeks. Impatience grew as she jumped from one foot to the other. 

“The firetruck,” I conceded as though worn to a frazzle. 

You would have thought I’d won the smartest-in-class award. Our little girl jumped and squealed like a cheerleader. It was contagious. I laughed and clapped. 

In real life sometimes the most obvious things are ones we miss with our own little eyes. Glaring issues often go unnoticed. There is the green-stuck-in-the-teeth or the thing-you-just-sat-in and horror of horrors, that zipper-supposed-to-be-zipped.

With just our own little eyes we can miss a lot.  

As parents, we do our best to open little eyes to see right from wrong, good from bad, kind from unkind, clean from dirty, and pleasant from unpleasant. We feel deeply the responsibility to instruct, guide, and inform. 

God’s Word is a mirror. It reveals the things I can’t see with my own eyes. It changes my lenses and helps me see the obvious as well as what’s hidden. If I can get my children to hunger after God’s Word, I have done something that will serve to open my child’s eyes in ways only His Spirit can. If they develop a thirst for reading the Bible, they will find a well that springs eternal life. 

God’s Word is a mirror. It reveals the things I can’t see with my own eyes. @sylschroeder #parenting #parents

Here are a few incentives to help children gain an “I spy” desire to read God’s Word:

Set aside a Bible time

Even small children can learn to expect Bible time. Whether together as a family, or privately, Bible time as an established pattern helps form a lifelong habit of spiritual discipline. When children are directed in what to look for in a Bible reading, they will do their best to spy it. Before they can read for themselves, a Bible journal is still a great way to begin participating with the Word. They can draw pictures to help illustrate what you read or its meaning. You can date it and cite the passage you read. 

Give them a Real Bible

Once children are old enough to read, having a real Bible of their own should be something special. Encourage them to mark it carefully and reverently. You might have them highlight with yellow every time a verse talks about eternity, with red passages about sin, or with blue every time the Bible talks about creation. Put your own creative spin on it. 

In their own Bible encourage them to put dates and notes. When they read in the margin “July 8, 2022,” it helps them remember how God’s Word impacted them. Let them draw a picture of a verse when appropriate on the side, bottom, or back. When the Bible becomes full of personal markings, repeat with a new one. 

Gift a blank journal

Teach older children to write the date, the passage, and something from the passage that was meaningful. Encourage reading through the Bible in chunks, chronologically, or in succession. If they want to draw a picture of what they read or write a prayer or a poem, it is theirs to do so. 

A journal gives you the possibility to ask questions about what they read and how it was meaningful to them. 

I can talk to my children about sin, but when God’s Word convicts them of it, the change is profound. 

I can assure them of God’s love, but when they see it for themselves woven throughout Scripture, His love settles inside their hearts. 

I can preach kindness to others, but when they hear it from Jesus’ lips and see it in His example, it will mean far more. 

“I spy with my own little eyes,” is full of delight, especially when gleaned from the Word of God. Seeing things in the light of His eyes changes us. When the mirror of Scripture takes root in our hearts, its instruction will be far more enlightening than any other. 

I can talk to my children about sin, but when God’s Word convicts them of it, the change is profound. @Sylschroeder #home #parenthood

4 thoughts on “Encouraging an “I Spy” Desire to Read God’s Word

  1. Amen Ms. Sylvia. I think that is perhaps the best thing I get from helping with AWANA in our church. To see the little ones ask questions in an attempt to understand God’s word. While we aren’t the Holy Spirit, we can help them to understand as He has helped us to. When we see one of them come to Christ, we celebrate God’s victory. What an encouraging post ma’am. I’m going to print this out and share with our church.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sylvia, you included practical suggestions and highlighted our responsibility as parents and grandparents. You also clearly stated it’s God who does the heart work. Thank you for a heartwarming and instructive post.


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