This post was originally written on 1/27/2020. This post may contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my marketing disclosure
“You just have to MAKE TIME to read the Bible,” they say.
Well…it’s just not that simple, is it?
I hate to break it to you, but when it comes to being a mom, time is a commodity we wish we can make! 24 hours is not enough time for anybody, but I think moms feel that time crunch more sensitively than others.
We hear it in church every single service: “Make time to read the Bible.” This is SO true, but how does one make time? That seems like a magical thing we all wish we knew how to do.
I would certainly like to know how I make time to read when I also have a small human who I have to make sure he doesn’t slam his fingers in a drawer for the 900th time, some of us also have full time or part-time jobs, we have other ministry obligations, spouses to actually talk to, and a myriad of other obligations. It can seem so easy to take something like reading the Bible and stick it on the back burner when life screams at us so loud that we cannot ignore it.
Why do you need to read the Bible?
The Bible is literally Gods voice written for us. As it says in Psalms, His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. It shows us how to walk this life. Yet so few of us who claim to be Christians actually read it.
I don’t think all Christians mean to purposefully not read the Bible. It’s just so hard to make the time. Like I said, it is so easy to get caught up in life that something as simple as cracking open the Bible just gets lost in the midst of the chaos.
So instead of yelling at you and saying “you just need to make time!” I figured a better way to go about this issue is to actually help you make it happen in ways that don’t require you to part the proverbial Red Sea of time.
I compiled these tips and products from recommendations from other trusted moms, as well as these are things I do myself! The products I endorsed here are products that I use and fully stand by!
1- Pick a time of the day where you are the least distracted and the most alert
Some people say you should dedicate your mornings to the Lord, while others believe you can be more flexible. I personally believe that the best time to study the Bible and be in the presence of the Lord is the time that works the best for you! For morning people, that may be early in the morning before the kids wake up. For the night owls, it may be after everyone goes to bed. Some of us, on the other hand, may need to etch out time in the afternoon. At the end of the day, only you know what time works the best for you.
Take an inventory of when you feel like you are the most ready to receive His word. Do you feel like waking up before your kids is the way to go? Or are you just going to fall asleep before you even read the first word? Are you more focused the evening when the kids are in bed? Or are you ready to turn in for the night? Maybe create time in the afternoon when you can include your kids! Maybe have them do a quiet activity if they can, or maybe make it happen during nap time.
I don’t think there is a magical time where God is the most ready to pour into you. He’s ready to talk to you whenever you are ready to listen. So this tip is the simplest to write, but probably the hardest to implement. Throughout your day, search for the time of the day when you feel the most settled. Those are the times when you are probably the least distracted. In those times you’re not just ready to read, but to hear what God says through His word as well.
When you discover that perfect pocket of time when your mind feels the freshest, make an appointment with you and God. I know that sounds silly, but here’s what I mean. Write down the time and place you plan on studying, set an alarm, and make it something you can’t forget.
2- Realize it’s not about quantity, but quality.
I remember as a young Christian hearing affluent ministers talk about how many hours they’d spend studying the Bible and praying. I used to feel small in comparison to that. In retrospect, I realize that it’s a different story when studying the Bible and praying is literally your career. As a mom, there’s a million things on your plate. So instead of holding yourself to an unrealistic expectation set to you by people who have more time than you, give yourself a break and give yourself reasonable expectations!
God is not interested in seeing how many chapters you can read in a day. He is interested in seeing what you have actually gathered from what you’ve read!
Even if all you get is time to read is a single chapter, then do it! Make it a point to read with your ears and HEAR what God says! Read it. Mediate on it. Pray it. Pray about it.
Start off with just 5 minutes a day 5 days a week. In those 5 minutes, don’t force yourself to rush through a book or a chapter. Even if you spend 5 minutes meditating and understanding ONE VERSE, that is valuable and beautiful time you spent with the Lord. That is quality Bible study, because you learned more about the Lord in those 5 minutes than you would have before.
3- Write it down
As a former teacher, I learned that we learn best when we incorporate many forms of learning into one. Reading anything is considered visual learning. When we also write down what we have learned, that is considered kinesthetic learning. Combining multiple facets of learning is proven to increase retention of knowledge!
This is a tip I implement personally. When I read, I make it a point to write down a particular scripture that spoke to me. I also write down why it spoke to me.
Here’s an example of something that just recently spoke to me in Ecclesiastes 2.
This is an actual picture of my Bible. In this ESV Journaling Bible, you can write down exactly what spoke to you right on the side!
I absolutely LOVE my ESV Single Column Journaling Bible from Dayspring! I bought this when I was right in the middle of my own struggle with postpartum depression. It has helped tremendously with making the time when I read the Word more valuable and meaningful. This is also a wonderful Bible for you crafty Bible artists! Also, the cover is just so beautiful!
ESV Single Column Journaling Bible
from: DaySpring Cards Inc
Maybe you would prefer a separate journal if you plan on writing more than just a few words. You can find SOOOOOO many cute journals that are equally as functional on Dayspring!
Studio 71 – For I Know The Plans – Christian Journal
from: DaySpring Cards Inc
4- Get a good devotional
Devotionals are such a good tool for anyone who wants to have some additional accountability and guidance through the Bible. You name a topic that you want to study, and I GUARANTEE you there is a devotional for it!
For short devotionals that are about 5 or so days, I highly recommend downloading the Youversion app! There are many wonderful reading plans written by some amazing ministers and they vary in different lengths and different subjects. They even give you the option of setting up push notifications to help you remember (which helps if you have the memory of a squirrel like me!)
If you prefer to have a hard copy devotional, below I put my two favorite longer term devotionals!
One of my favorite devotionals is the tried and true “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. This is almost like THE devotional of devotionals! It has definitely stood the test of time, and offers so many beautiful insights into the Word of God.
Dayspring also sells a really wonderful “One Minute Devotions for Mothers” with a perpetual calendar! This is seriously an amazing solution for busy moms!
Both devotionals are sold by Dayspring.
Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest from: DaySpring Cards Inc
Another one of my favorite devotionals is “Sparkling Gems From the Greek” by Rick Renner (by the way, this isn’t an affiliate link, I just love it so much I figured I’d share it!). I know a lot of people who use it as more of a Greek reference book, but it is set up as a 1 year devotional. I am amazed at how Gods word becomes more amazing when you dive into the meanings behind the text in its original language!
5- Find a Bible Study
This is another really wonderful tool to use if you just need a little extra guidance in finding exactly what you want to read about in the Bible. Maybe there’s a particular person in the Bible who has struck your interest. Or maybe there is a specific topic you are interested in learning more about, but you’re simply feeling overwhelmed in trying to find the information all on your own.
My girl, Beth Moore, is the QUEEN of the Bible study! She has written some absolutely AMAZING Bible studies! She doesn’t just talk about the details, but I think she gets to the heart of God behind the stories of the Bible. My favorite is her study on Daniel. This isn’t an affiliate link either, just another product I adore!
6- Make reading the Bible a family affair
This is a wonderful thing to do whether you’re struggling to find time to read the Bible or not. My logic behind this one is that if you can’t find the time to do it alone, then don’t do it alone! Include your family in your Bible studies!
There was a time in our lives (pre-children) when my husband and I were so over our heads in business that we realized we hadn’t cracked open our Bibles in WEEKS! So we decided to pick a book in the Bible and actually read it out loud to each other. Maybe that sounds corny, but it opened up so many valuable conversation points for us, and we didn’t just grow in Jesus, we grew in our own relationship with each other.
When Micah was a newborn, I caught my husband several times holding our sweet little boy and reading Psalms to him. I was so inspired that I started doing the same. I’m sure some people would say they he’s a baby and isn’t going to remember those at all, but I beg to differ. We are training our son up in the Word! We are teaching him at a young age to hide it in his heart, and that my friends is the single most valuable lesson we can teach him!
7- Listen to the Bible
Again, I absolutely LOVE the Youversion app! I mean you can’t go wrong with a Bible app that is 100% free, has an insane amount of translations, and many of them have audio translations to go along with them!
This is a step I utilize almost daily! As an overwhelmed music teacher on my way to school, I played the Bible over the car so I could hear (literally) from God before going into work. During a phase when I woke up at 5am and went to the gym, I listened to Proverbs while doing deadlifts!
This is another really great example of combining different ways of learning. Some of us are auditory learners, and we learn best by hearing. Maybe hearing the Bible will be what helps you retain it best!
Bonus Tip: Don’t give up!
No matter how little time you have devoted to reading God’s word, do NOT allow that little voice in your head (ahem, Satan,) get to you by making you feel guilt every time you try to study the Word. It is so easy to make that first step to diving deeper into the Lord, and immediately become rattled with guilt because we start to think of all of the times when we didn’t read our Bible.
Rest assured, God is not up in Heaven rolling his eyes at you because you finally decided to give studying the Bible and honest shot. He’s just excited to get the chance to talk to you! Let these moments you make with Him be meaningful by opening yourself up to hearing what He wants to say to you through His Word!
Related: 5 Tips On Overcoming Mom Guilt