Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Way to Really Feed Your Family

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly...Colossians 3:16

A few years ago, inspired by the audio version of Arnold Pent's Ten Peas in a Pod, we began moving toward regular Bible reading as a family. I was further spurred on in this by Ann Voskamp's (of A Holy Experience) description of her family's commitment to scripture ingestion together.

Slowly but surely, we started incorporating Bible reading into our mealtimes. For us this is the best option for now, because we have a captive audience, and we are all together around the table, and though chaos is often still a problem, it seems that it is reduced when we're still around the meal.

This new habit of Eating Real Food wasn't easy at first. It felt clunky and time consuming, but it was clear that God desired us to do this, and we were confident of the fruit it would yield over time. In the beginning, it was mostly just us reading to them, but now the older ones ask to read, and little by little we're beginning to have those neat discussions we all desire as Christ-following parents!

These days, this is what our Bible-eating routine looks like:

Breakfast = a chapter from the Old Testament (right now we are in Daniel). Once through the Old Testament, start back over again.

Lunch = a chapter from Psalms or Proverbs (this is for lunches when we are all together, which isn't always; the goal is to cycle through these two books repeatedly, and skipping them as part of the morning Old Testament readings; right now we are in Proverbs)

Supper = a chapter from the New Testament (we just finished Revelation and have come back around to Matthew, and plan to read the New Testament straight through again).

I know we have read through the Bible at least once this way, and maybe almost twice. It has taken a while to settle into a method. I wasn't doing well with charts or trying to write it down. It really works best for us to divide it as described above.

There are times we forget. And we still struggle on out of town trips with consistency. But what a powerful thing, to be washed 2-3 times a day, as a family, with God's holy, good, perfect Word! Oh, and we usually do the reading toward the end of the meal. We bought inexpensive Bibles for everyone, with the goal of each person reading from her own, in time.

Jesus said, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6,


Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

I hope you are encouraged about this way of feeding your family! I love knowing that our souls and bodies are being nourished at every meal we share.

And, in keeping with the theme of feeding our hearts and minds, check this out. I had the privilege of writing a guest post on my friend Ruth's blog, Gracelaced, in celebration of her 500th post!


  1. Great post, Beth. It's always encouraging to witness how other families feast on the Word. It is so easy to be distracted. Thanks for the good word.

  2. This is such a practical, simple method which is exactly what is needed at our house.

    Does the one reading read while the others eat, or do you read before or after the meal?

  3. Well, I am a very slow eater. This means that usually at supper, BB reads while the rest of us finish eating.

    At breakfast and lunch, I read while I eat - the kids usually start and finish eating before I do, but I make them stay at the table, or return to it, whatever the case may be, and I read to them.

    All that to say, the reading generally comes toward the end of the meal. :-)

  4. You know, gals, we've had a great time doing Audio bible listening time over dinner. It's a dramatic reading in ESV through Faith Comes By Hearing.

  5. Thanks for the tip, Ruth...might be a bit simpler, easier, for us to try your suggestion...

  6. Just yesterday I was contemplating the desire (need?) to invest in an audio Bible reading. I'm thankful for Ruth's recommendation.