My children are pre-school aged. They can’t even read simple books yet, so it will be a little while before they will be able to read the Bible by themselves. Nevertheless, I have been thinking about the day that they are ready to pick out their first Bibles, and how I want to go about it.
When I think of my first Bible growing up, the one that always comes to mind is a thick, leather-bound book, with my name embossed on the front and childlike letters written inside the front cover. When I was about nine years old, my grandma gave a challenge to all her grandkids – memorize Psalm 91 – and she would buy us our own Bibles with our names on the front, and take us to a fancy Japanese restaurant for dinner.
That sounded good to me! My siblings and I got to work, and we each memorized Psalm 91 and received our Bibles. It felt so special to have my name in gold in the lower right-hand corner. That is the Bible that I took to church for years and highlighted endlessly.
But as I was thinking about it, I realized that Bible wasn’t technically my first Bible. My mom wasted no time in our growing up years saturating us with the Word of God. We had Bible storybooks, including one I gave my own kids this last Christmas. When they open the cover, they will see “C-A-L-L-I-E” written in my first grade scrawl, along with a little stick figure I drew of myself. That storybook is filled with bookmarks on all my favorite stories. Then there is the pre-teen study Bible that I remember reading through several times. And my other grandma’s Bible (she passed away when I was seven years old) – I still have it, and I love to look through all her highlights, the verses that were important to her.
I was blessed enough to have multiple people who poured God’s Word into my life when I was young. My mom, with her day-to-day faithfulness, made sure I was never lacking a Bible, and she taught me that God’s Word was important, unlike any other book. My grandmother, with her challenge and reward, showed me that God’s Word is special – something to treasure up in my heart. My parents and grandparents made the Bible meaningful to me in so many daily ways. That is why the Bible I always think of as my first Bible meant so much to me.
When I get my kids their first Bible, aside from the myriad of Bible storybooks we already have, I want to build on the truth that we have hopefully already poured into their lives – that God’s Word is important and special, because this is how the Lord tells us everything we need to know.
Ultimately, before the big day of helping my children pick out their first “grown up” Bible even comes, I want to show them the Bible is important by reading it to them, talking about it with them, and making sure I’m studying it myself. I want them to see me treasuring it and being thankful for the Bible. I want to show them it’s special by storing it up in my heart, and helping them do the same. I think making your child’s first Bible meaningful is all about laying these foundations in day-to-day life first.
And whenever we pick out their first Bibles, I want to do something unique to make it memorable and fun! Like maybe dinner at that same fancy Japanese restaurant? We’ll figure something out!
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What do you consider when choosing the perfect first Bible for your child? We would love to hear from you! Come join the conversation on our blog!