I recently had the privilege of attending the beautiful and inspiring Mom Heart Conference. What I came away with was not anything I didn’t already know, not anything fundamentally formulaic that would single-handedly change the course of my life, nothing that I hadn’t really heard my whole life already. Nonetheless, I left feeling renewed, energized, motivated. I saw my role as mother, as heart-keeper of my home, with more clarity than I have in a number of years.
When asked why this conference was so good, and what I liked best about it, my answer has not been about Sally Clarkson, who is nothing short of amazing, by the way, but her daughter, Sarah. I could have listened to Sarah Clarkson speak, and then left the conference with the inspiration I needed. Sarah is delightful. She is articulate, brilliant, poised, graceful, poetic, and eloquent. She captivates her audience not with bold presentation or by hilarious comedy, but with story.
Sarah’s life paints the story of a child whose heart was tenderly and intentionally kept.
A Mother Who Reads the Bible is Making Her Home a Haven.
No doubt, a mother who reads her Bible diligently has Eternal perspective in making her home a haven while focusing on her Heavenly home.
One thing that Sarah said made the biggest impact on me. She was talking about how different women had influenced her life, and her mother was the biggest influence, of course. And one of the reasons for that was that every morning, Sarah remembers getting up and coming into the kitchen and seeing her mother sitting there with her coffee and her Bible, where she was reading and studying before the day began.
See? I told you I didn’t learn anything really that we didn’t already know. We already knew that moms should read the Bible, right? And while that is entirely essential to living our lives for God and growing in wisdom and being able to instruct and train our children, that’s not my whole point here.
Sarah SAW her mother reading her Bible.
The Importance of a Paper Bible
For years, I did that. I got up every morning and read, starred, and underlined in my Bible. I highlighted my favorite passages, and usually with a different color depending on the day. I kept my paper Bible with me on the sofa and I’d grab a chapter or two here and there throughout the day when my first two babies were little. In later years, when time seemed challenging to fit reading in, I would stuff it into my purse and take my Bible with me to practices to read while waiting for boys to finish. Having loved on it so much, and enduring the hard terrain of a busy schedule, sitting on kitchen tables, getting pulled out from a pile of stuff in the van, and being grabbed by toddler hands while I tried to read for five minutes here or there, the leather cover finally gave way and began to pull away from the binding.
And almost like the Velveteen Rabbit, that Bible found itself stored on a shelf for quite some time, collecting dust, while my children no longer SAW ME reading that very real, very living Book.
Not that I wasn’t reading the Word of God. I was still reading.
My kids just couldn’t see what I was doing.
You see, technology has changed the way we do things, and when I am looking at my phone or computer screen, they don’t know what I’m looking at. They don’t know if I’m reading Philippians or Facebook, if I’m visiting Peter or Pinterest. They have no idea whether I’m spending time Googling or spending time in God’s Word.
And so when Sarah said she SAW her mother reading her Bible, I knew I had to go back. Back to the old, antiquated-to-some way of reading my Bible. A Paper Bible, to be exact. Maybe I will get a new one for myself, but for now, I am actually enjoying very much, the loved-on, tattered look and feel of the Life-breathing book that used to be my daily companion. I love looking at all the places where I underlined and circled and highlighted and even scribbled my own thoughts in the margins. I love seeing how my Paper Bible naturally opens to certain favorite passages of mine or has life smudges on its pages, evidence that I cared, and took the time, and NEEDED His Word to guide my day as I was guiding little hearts toward His.
They Will Remember.
They will do as they see us do.
If I’m intentionally cultivating a home where I desire hearts to love God, my children have to see me reading the Bible. It’s just that simple. It’s not enough that I know I do it. They have to see me. We may not think they’re listening when we recall Scripture to them, but it’s being planted in their hearts. And we may not think it’s a big deal if they see us reading the Scriptures silently to ourselves, but it’s an image that will burn into their memories, that will hopefully, like Sarah, influence them for the rest of their lives.
In creating a culture of excellence in your home, in making your home a haven, do your children see you reading the Bible?