YES! You can read the WHOLE Bible aloud with people you love! It will take work, but you can do it.
Recently, my family and I finished reading the entire Bible aloud together. Thankfully, we set the bar rather low for the first time around. It took us about FIVE years to finish reading the WHOLE Bible.
When we began the journey toward reading the Bible, our boys were 8, 6, and just a few months old. Now, they’re 14, 11, and 5. It has been an adventure. Perhaps you’d like to read the Bible with a sister or a spouse. Great! Or maybe you’d like to read as a family. Whatever your community looks like, consider inviting someone or a group of people to read the Bible with you.
During the past five years, so much has changed. Our boys have grown, and things have gotten easier in some ways while more complex in other ways. At first, we committed to reading some verses rather than reading an entire chapter. This helped reduce pressure especially when our infant needed extra attention, the boys would fight, or the passage was a bit dry.
In time, we were able to pick up speed and read an entire chapter in a sitting. We chose to invite questions and frequently paused to discuss the meaning behind the text. Of course, this required extra time. On an ideal day, we spent about 30 minutes on family devotions, but many times we were short on time and spent about 10 minutes reading a passage.
Here are a few practical details about our reading time!
We’ve read in almost every room of our home, in the car, and with family or friends who were over to visit. We’ve read on vacation, when we’ve been sick, and when everyone was grumpy. We have enjoyed reading outside and even tried reading while on a walk (which didn’t work very well).
Possibly 98% of the time, someone needed to be corrected or redirected during our devotional time. It’s ok. This is normal and doesn’t mean we were doing it wrong!
Finishing is worth it!
The other day, as two of my boys entered church, they were encouraged by one of our ministry leaders. She told the boys that she was so proud of them for reading 1,189 chapters in the Bible. As we turned the corner to climb the stairs, the boys smiled greatly. They felt proud of their accomplishment.
We didn’t read because we hoped for applause. We read because it is formative for our faith.
Yes, it was difficult at times. But most big goals take determination. And we want to be gritty about the right things!
It took us over 1800 days to read 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Today, we are on Genesis 6. We’re working through a Chronological Bible this time. So far, we’ve read around our kitchen table (my favorite place to read), in the living room, and the car (probably our least favorite place to read due to distractions).
When we’ve faced bumps, we’ve tried to pray through them. Much of the time, we’ve found creative solutions. Recently, as a result of frustration, Chuck invited the boys to take turns leading our devotional time. Each boy was tasked to read the chapter ahead of time, share one verse that stood out to them and ask one question. Both boys did great!
Last night, one of our sons shared that he had already read the chapter, so he jumped in and took the lead on the fly.
When we bring God into our problems, He helps us design creative solutions.
Our devotional time is still very normal. I’m not writing to share that if you do these THREE things, you’ll have INCREDIBLE devotional times.
You’ll want to quit. If you really care, you’ll probably cry when your expectations go unmet. You may feel discouraged, and you may question if it’s even worth it.
For us, it has been a meaninful endeavor. If you’re unsure if it’s worth the investment, consider some of the GOOD and HARD things that come from reading the Bible. These are just a few of the items that came to our minds during a family discussion the night after we finished reading the entire Bible: we hear from God and learn to obey Him and yet parts of the Bible can be difficult to understand, believe, or apply to our daily lives.
Proverbs 4:7 says, “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
It doesn’t cost ALL we have to read the Bible. It just takes intention, and God deserves it!
Start where you are! But don’t stay where you are.
If you read the WHOLE Bible, let us know! You know the debt-free scream? We'd love to see a video of you yelling the "We read the WHOLE Bible scream!"
God’s Word is important. It will shape our lives and fill our hearts with hope!