Note: This post is excerpted from the introduction to More Than a Story: Old Testament. Much of this message applies to all Bible-focused reading with children, but More Than a Story was specifically written and designed to make the most of this interactive approach to reading.
There is a difference between reading with children and reading to children. Reading to children is when an adult reads and children listen; but reading with children is experiencing the story, the words, and the ideas together. It is an interactive exchange that takes place as the adult and the children discover meaning, wonder at the marvelous, mourn over the heartaches, ponder the incomprehensible, and rejoice in the beautiful together. Reading with children requires engaging your mind and heart in the text, letting your emotions overflow as you read together. It also takes a little bit of practice, a fair amount of abandonment, and, when reading to engage the heart and soul, a lot of prayer.
There are also some techniques we can employ in our quest to engage not only the minds of our children but also their hearts. Below are some suggestions to involve your children as you interact together to discover who God is, what He has done, and how we are to respond to Him.
As your hearts are drawn together through the shared experience of reading this book together, may your hearts be drawn to the One who “is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:15-16a).