Summer break is finally here and the kids are excited about getting out of school. They have lots of plans about what they are going to do, go camping, sleep in, play video games, go swimming and the list goes on. One thing that a lot of school age children don’t have on their list is summer reading. When I was working as a school psychologist one of the concerns I had was students not reading over the summer and I would do all that we could to encourage kids to read. But why is it important for kids to read over the summer? Research has repeatedly shown that kids who don’t read over the summer can lose up to 3 months of reading progress. This is actually called summer reading regression. Yes, children can actually regress in their reading skills over summer break if they do not read. The bottom line for parents, encourage your children to read a minimum of 20 minutes a day over their summer break.
This got me to thinking about Christians reading their Bibles. Are you, like the kids over summer break, in danger of reading regression when it comes to reading the Scriptures? Do you have a dedicated time that you spend in the Word of God every day? Do you actually read and study the Scriptures or do you just skim over a verse that is given in a daily devotional book? 2 Timothy 2:15 gives us command to study the Scriptures, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Paul admonishes us to study the Scriptures which implies not just skimming over a few random verses but actually learning what they mean and committing them to memory.
Another important verse found in Timothy is 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The Scriptures are literally God’s direct message to us. The Bible is our handbook to both our spiritual and physical lives teaching us what is right and wrong, how to interact with other people, how to raise our families, how to handle difficult situations, and how to live a life that pleases the Lord. Actually, everything you need to know is found in Scriptures.
In closing, let me say this, we need to be able to declare the words of David found in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Do you want to walk daily not sinning against God? Then you must hide the Word of God in your heart. What does it mean to hide God’s word in our hearts? It means that we have studied the Word, we know the Word, and we walk by the Word. Let me offer you and your family a suggestion to prevent summer reading regression. How about you set a time together each day to read the bible together as a family!