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Consistent Bible reading is an important aspect of growing in your faith. Throughout Scripture, we see the importance of time in the Word, but as a busy mom with an ever-changing schedule and desire for spontaneity, I’ve struggled with consistent time in the Word. But, learning how to read the Bible daily, is an important aspect of your spiritual growth.
Why should I read the Bible daily?
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:15-16
If you aren’t convinced that it is necessary to read your Bible consistently, then you’re not going to do it. Reading the Bible daily is not what saves you, but God does use knowledge of the Scriptures “to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). The Bible is the Word of God Himself and is profitable to make you more like Him and train you to do the good works He has called you to do (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Through the Scriptures, we know God more, delight in Him more, and seek to glorify Him more.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
If you’re a mother seeking to train her children in the Scriptures, it’s vital that you know and love the Word yourself. Saturate yourself in the Bible. Make consistent Bible reading, memorization, meditation, etc part of your sitting, walking, resting, etc. As you learn how to read the Bible daily, you are ingraining in your children these same routines.
“I have never met a mature, fruitful, strong, spiritually discerning Christian who is not full of Scripture, devoted to regular meditation on Scripture, and given to storing it in the heart through Bible memorization — and that’s not a coincidence. So, what I want to do is persuade our new believing friend that it is absolutely essential, after coming to faith in Christ, to be radically, deeply, experientially devoted — unshakably, unwaveringly persuaded — that reading and meditating on and understanding and memorizing and enjoying the Scriptures is absolutely essential for the Christian life, which would include being in the word every day with the aim that we will meet God there and, little by little, the glory of his truth will fill and transform our lives.” – John Piper, 10 Reasons to Read the Bible Every Day
Create a Plan for Consistent Bible Reading
“Our motivation for reading the Bible should be a desire for God and his word. However, the beauty (and difficulty) of daily Bible reading is that we do it even when the desire isn’t there, trusting that God will provide it. What’s more, even when the desire is there, the world and the devil and our own sin nature will conspire to keep us from it, whether through lack of sleep, smartphones, or sudden crises. Thus the necessity for some common sense in forming and keeping this habit—some spiritual strategy, if you will.” – Katherine Forster, Help! I Can’t Stay Consistent with My Bible Reading
You may have a heart for reading the Bible daily but still, struggle with consistency. That’s when it’s time to make your plan. Remove as many barriers between you and the Word as possible.
Find a reading plan
When you do take the time to read your Bible, what are you going to read? Here are some great resources for reading through the Bible or studying individual books.
I like the flexibility of the five-day plan. This plan includes readings for five days of the week. You can use the other two days to catch-up or dive deeper into the passages.
In my post, How to Study the Bible as a Busy Mom, I include a sample weekly plan for doing an inductive study through a book of the Bible.
You could also check out some of the Bible studies offered by The Daily Grace Co. They are in-depth studies with deep theology, yet are accessible and doable.
Organize your space/items
For those who want to work out first thing in the morning, a common piece of advice is to lay out your workout clothes the night before, or even sleep in them! Think similarly when it comes to reading your Bible. Do you use a journal, notebook, or special pens? Have all this ready to go, either where you will readily see and grab them or in the place where you plan on using them.
I don’t have a designated space where I read my Bible, so I keep a journal, pens, and, sometimes, a Bible study in a tote bag that’s easy to get to and carry around.
Here are a couple of cute options!
Identify a cue instead of a time
Modern behavioral research supports the idea that habits are best created when actions or behaviors are consistently repeated over time with a specific situation acting as a cue to the behavior (McDaniel & Einstein, 2000; Phillippa Lally, et al., 2010). Instead of saying, “I will read my Bible every day at 6:30 am,” you add your time in the Word to an already established habit like your morning coffee or immediately following another daily habit. Consider actions you perform every day and which would act as a good cue to begin your daily Bible reading. Folding laundry as a cue to listen to an audio Bible? Drinking coffee as a cue for inductive study? After getting the mail, you come inside and read?
Remove distractions (turn off your phone!)
I know many people who successfully read their Bible on their phones, but I find it to be a big distraction. If you love a certain Bible app, you can look into turning your phone on do not disturb. If you’re like me though, move your phone to another room before you read your Bible.
What are other things that distract you and prevent consistent Bible reading? Write them down and write down possible solutions.
Dirty dishes? Wash them first (Bible reading cue!) or move to another room.
Are your kids being loud? Consider reading before they wake up or after they’re asleep. Look into putting on a tv show for that time (we love Little Image Bearers). Use this time to start training preschoolers and older children to have their own time in the Word.
Pray for the Desire and Ability for Consistent Bible Reading
You’ve made this fancy plan. You’ve laid out all of your study tools. All of this is good, but it is also fruitless when done solely by our own efforts.
“If it’s not about my own efforts, then why even try? Why do I even ‘do’ all of these things if
- I know that I am going to repeatedly fail – OR
- Good deeds do not earn God’s favor?”
This is when you remind yourself of the why. Ask God to remind you why you read the Bible daily. Pray that He would help you persevere in consistent Bible reading.
“Prayer and Bible study are not things to be checked off a list. They are means of experiencing God’s grace – how we get to know Him and His character in greater, deeper ways. They drive us to give Him glory.”
Find Accountability for Consistent Bible Reading
My husband is an extrovert who loves to workout in a gym. Besides health reasons, a huge motivating factor for his regular attendance is the friendships he’s developed. They text each other when someone doesn’t show up and encourage each other to meet new goals.
These relationships are good and necessary for consistent Bible reading as well. We need both cheerleaders and those who will call us out when we aren’t in the Word.
Who can you ask to help hold you accountable? Be specific in not only picking a person but how you want them to hold you accountable. Are you asking them to text you each or meet once a week to talk about what you’ve been learning?
When you’re struggling to understand what you’re reading, it’s easy to stop reading the Bible daily. You find yourself frustrated, so you give up. Instead, write your questions down and keep going (my Bible journal for busy moms is a great tool for this). When you have a bit more time, research those questions by using a commentary or talking to a pastor or your accountability pastor.
If you’re new to Bible study, I have a short post on learning how to study the Bible as a busy mom.
In addition, the book Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin provides an amazingly practical guide for learning how to study the Bible as well as the heart behind why we do so.
Memorize and Meditate
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 ESV)
As you start reading the Bible daily, take the time to also memorize it. On the days when you are incredibly busy or don’t have access to the Word, you will always be able to meditate on the passages that you have “stored in your heart” (Proverbs 119:9-16).
In addition, setting memorization goals helps you to be reading consistently.
And yes, you can do it. If you think you can’t, see my guide on Scripture memorization.
Go to Church
Hear the Word preached. Listen to the Word in a community of believers. Find a church that prioritizes the Bible, teaches the Bible, and encourages you to know the Bible as well.
Persevere in Consistent Bible Reading
Habits can take a long time to develop, more than the 21 days frequently mentioned. Research shows habits can take 18-254 days to form, averaging about 66 days (Lally, van Jaarsveld, Potts, Wardle, 2009).
Consistent Bible reading doesn’t happen overnight. Reading your Bible is considered a spiritual discipline, which means it isn’t always easy. There will be distractions. You may not always have the desire or the feel-good emotions to encourage you to read. You may struggle to find accountability.
But…it is always profitable to read God’s Word. It is worth it, mama. So, don’t run aimlessly. Know why you read, make your plan, and keep going.
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27