It’s funny what you remember from your childhood, isn’t it? I can almost feel the fabric of the sofa I sat on to read my Bible and pray every morning before leaving for school. It was what we did, because Mom and Dad said it was necessary. Every day. And they did it, too.

Family devotions were pretty much the same way. Necessary, non-negotiable, and not fancy. Sometimes quick, sometimes fun, sometimes boring, but always necessary.  

So I grew up with the general idea that the Bible was important. 

Sometimes I read it legalistically— to be a “good girl.” But I’m so thankful that the habit was trained into me because it stayed with me. God used it to gradually bring me face-to-face with an important decision I had to make as a young adult: who was I really going to trust? 

By the grace of God, I came to embrace the Bible as infallible and sufficient, in large part due to the strong foundation painstakingly laid by my Bible-reading parents.

Every day you and I decide what to do with God’s Word. And that decision is a result of how we view ourselves, how we view God and how we view His Word. If our family is not in the Word, it can only mean one thing: We don’t think we really need God. 

You might want me to skip to the suggestions on what to do to be a family of the Word. But I’ve found that I often need a change in underlying beliefs before I’m able or willing to implement practical suggestions. So let’s go there first.

We need to be families of the Word to know who we are

Each parent and child on the face of the earth is created in God’s image, but suffering from a fallen condition. 

The Bible reveals that condition to us— it’s a mirror that shows us who we really are. 

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB) says, 

“But we all, with unveiled faces, looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” 

The mirror of the Bible reveals our: 

  • Foolishness— “My people… are foolish children” (Jeremiah 4:22).
  • Ignorance— “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
  • Weakness and vulnerability—  “For the time is coming when people will… turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Parents and children alike need to be in God’s Word so we can see ourselves clearly—  and how desperately we need a Savior.

Parents and children alike need to be in God's Word so we can see ourselves clearly—  and how desperately we need a Savior.

We need to be families of the Word to know who God is

God reveals Himself to us in His Word— this is the main reason for the Bible’s existence. God has taken such care and chosen to reveal Himself to me and my family— this miracle of grace should motivate us to dig deep, that we might know Him more.

If we want to know God truly, we need to be families of the Word. There’s simply no way around it. No teacher, no personal experience, no TV program (no matter how beautifully produced) can substitute for the God-breathed words of Scripture. In fact, those third-party sources can often lead us astray. When we rely too heavily on other sources of information, we risk being deceived.

Instead, we turn to the Gospels and read about Jesus Christ, who “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3).

We dig into the words of the apostles in the New Testament, and we dig into the Old Testament— which point backward and forward to Christ, respectively. (For more on how we can know who God is, check out this podcast: How Can We Know God?)

Friends, we desperately need to know who God is— and we can only do that through the Bible. The more we see who God is in His Word, the more we understand our great need to be families of the Word.

We need to be families of the Word to grow in wisdom

Spending time in the Word of God takes readers along a certain path in life: a path of obedience that leads to blessing. There are many promises in the Bible for those who treasure it:

  • The Father’s love and presence— “If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him” (John 14:23). 
  • Answered prayers— “If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

Consider also Psalm 1, which speaks of a man who prospers in everything he does because he spends time in and delights in God’s Word. 

If we aren’t in the Word consistently, we may misunderstand these promises and principles to mean that life should be easy and materially prosperous if we simply read our Bibles. 

Instead, the Bible teaches that the blessed path often carries God’s children through difficulties— but never without meaning. God promises that every hardship prepares for us an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16).

If we want to be wise— if we want to make eternally beneficial choices— we must be families of the Word. 

I hope you find these reasons compelling and heart-changing! Now, the natural question that follows is: How do we become families of the Word?