Can you point to about a hundred reasons why you don’t have time to read the Bible every day?
Sometimes I need a reminder to prioritize daily Bible reading, even if it’s just for a few minutes, because this fundamental habit of the Christian life is transformative to our lives as a busy parents, workers, and children of God.
Since morning time is a bit crazy for me in this season of life with very little ones, nighttime is usually my most trusted time to open up the Bible as a peaceful closure to my day. (After an exhausting day, I sometimes take pretty seriously the words of St. Jerome: “Let sleep find you holding your Bible, and when your head nods let it be resting on the sacred page.” At least nodding off during Bible time gets saintly approval…?)
Plan a reliable time every day to open your heart to what God has to say to you through the Holy Scriptures. The consistent time investment will manifest itself in powerful ways in your personal and family spiritual life.
Why should you take time to read the Bible every day? Here are just a few reasons:
1. It strengthens a relationship…and not just any relationship, the relationship in your life – your most intimate and important relationship – between you and God. “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them” (Dei Verbum 21). Bible reading opens a daily conversation between you and your Savior, in which you get to know Him better and He continues to love you more than you can imagine. Pope Saint Gregory said we “learn the heart of God from the word of God.”
2. It feeds and transforms you. Pope Saint Gregory also said, “The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind’s eye. In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And there too we discover the progress we are making and how far we are from perfection.” The Holy Scriptures have a powerful way of guiding you toward becoming the person God created you to be. It inches you closer to living the commandment to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48) by actually giving you the tools and spiritual nourishment to become more Christ-like.
3. It equips you with wisdom for living. God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and meant to come alive in your life, helping you live out the rubber-meets-the-road duties of your vocation. The wisdom literature, the lessons of the parables, the promises of the beatitudes – these sacred texts are meant to give us not simply poetic reflections, but practical tools for living our lives in the here and now.
4. It sets an example for those you love. There are few things I love more than seeing my husband open up his giant study Bible on the kitchen table in the morning to read for a few minutes before he heads to work. Our kids get to witness their father turning to the Father for wisdom, grace, and hope to fill his cup for the day. Watching parents have a strong Bible reading habit makes it far more likely that children will develop their own love of reading the Bible every day, too.
5. You’ll discover your role in God’s plan. The more I read the Bible, the more I love to learn the story of salvation history – and my place within it. God has a plan for the world, and you are an integral part of that plan. There is no character in Scripture who does not have a part to play. (If you want to better understand that “big picture” of salvation history, which also helps you understand where you fit into the story, I highly recommend the great Bible companion, Walking with God by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins.)
6. Your prayerfulness, fruitfulness, and discipleship will grow. God’s word does “not return to [Him] empty” (Isaiah 55:11), but rather produces great fruit in the lives of those who read and live it. Want to see your prayer life strengthen, your life of virtue bear fruit in your home and relationships, and your life as a disciple mirror more closely the life of your Teacher? Read the Bible often. Everything about my spiritual life and growth improves when Bible reading is a regular habit in my day.
7. It will expand your sense of wonder. Often, when I read the Bible, I am literally awe-struck by the grandeur of God, and my respective littleness. I feel like the practice of “wondering” is diminishing in our culture today, and there is nothing more beautiful to wonder at than God Himself. Allowing the mysteries of Scripture and all you don’t know – but hope to know – soak in as you go about your day, expands your wonder, until that hunger for God is ultimately fulfilled in heaven – which, by the way, makes daily Bible reading an eternally-beneficial habit to cultivate.
Read the Bible every day. Even just a little bit! It will change your life.