“But it’s still light out. Why do we have to go to bed?” I reasoned.
“Because it’s bedtime,” Mom always replied. And so my three younger siblings and I would lie down in our beds and listen to Mom read a book aloud.
Now that I have my own brood of 7, I realize how tired my mama must have been with anywhere between 6 and 9 children running around her house and yard after school and sports. Somehow she squeezed in enough time to read to us. Most of the books she read were Bible stories. She wasn’t just killing time. Oh, no. She was doing so much more than that; story time was part of intentional parenting. I remember the details in those bedtime stories. I remember those important moments like yesterday.
Today I’m sharing 4 reasons they are important.
1. Reading bedtime stories together is an enjoyable daily routine.
Sometimes the pace of life flies by and we forget to enjoy the blessings we have. Having a nice clean bed and a safe place to sleep are things to be appreciated. When parenting patterns are consistent, children recognize that God created the days to be good. Enjoying books at bedtime is a great way to relay this concept.
2. Bedtime reading is a wonderful way to provide security in a child’s life.
Although I didn’t really want to go to bed, I loved hearing my mom’s voice as she read. I remember the feeling of security and comfort as I laid there listening. To have this beautiful feeling repeated night after night built confidence in my heart. I knew I was loved through her gift of investing time in her children.
3. Bedtime stories display the character we long to instill in our children.
One of my favorite bedtime Bible stories was the story of Naaman the leper being healed. I remember how the character who stood out the most to me was the slave girl who told Naaman that she believed the prophet Elijah could help him. What bravery it must have taken for a girl who was stolen from her country to speak to her boss and share what she knew deep in her heart! God could heal him! She was sure of it. When my mom read this story, I would imagine being that one brave girl.
4. Reading bedtime stories promotes the principles taught throughout the day.
You work hard as a parent to latch onto and make the most of teachable moments during the day. Bedtime is a wonderful time to reinforce those life lessons. Working on honesty? Read a book about the beauty of truth-telling. Struggling to share? Enjoy a story on the benefits of sharing.
Jesus shared parables (stories) to help His listeners grasp the promises He longed to leave in their hearts. And we still treasure those stories today. So before you rush off to bed with your sleepyheads (or not-so-sleepy heads), take a few minutes to soak up a bedtime story with your sweet one.
If you’re looking for meaningful stories to read with your young children, let me recommend the Really Woolly 5-Minute Bedtime Treasury. Each night’s reading begins with a Bible story told in rhyming text, followed by classic Really Woolly rhymes, simple discussion questions, and a bedtime prayer. Every reading points out an attribute of God, which will send your child to sleep with thoughts of how He is watching over them.
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Are bedtime stories a joy or a struggle in your home? What are some of your favorite stories to read with your little ones? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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