“I just don’t know how to get into God’s Word,” a fellow dad confessed over lunch the other day. He knew he needed to – not only for the “dad stuff,” but also for daily life stuff. “No matter how hard I try, I can never get into it.”
I’m sure a lot of dads can identify. They know the Bible has a lot of great things to say about being a dad – like loving your wife as Christ loves the church (whatever that looks like), raising up kids in the way they should go and not exasperating your children. They also know that getting in the Bible is more than picking and choosing verses and calling it good.
I’ll be the first to confess that taking time out for God wasn’t always on the top of my priority list – there’s something about having kids that changes all that.
So my friend and I started talking about what it might look like for dads like us to make time with our Heavenly Dad a daily priority.
We talked about rolling out of bed with a prayer on our tongues. It could be as simple as, “Good morning, God, here we go again!” Or it could be more in depth, like applying the psalmist’s words to our own lives and situations: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
We talked about a variety of devotional resources available to help us dive into the shallow or deep end of the pool, wherever we are in our walk with God.
One resource, for example, actually came out of my own “trial and error” time with God through the years. I put together The PRAY! Prayer Journal, first and foremost, to help me go deeper than my own surface relationship with the Lord. The journal format and daily Bible reading plan can help you go deeper with God.
But my friend and I also talked about a very practical way to read God’s Word each day. It involves taking the Bible “a chunk at a time,” and a great place to start is with the book of Matthew. It’s a very simple approach that’ll soon have you making your way through the entire New Testament. You go from subtitle to subtitle, prayerfully considering a few key questions along the way:
• What does it say?
• What does it mean?
• What does it mean to me?
I could tell that my friend was getting hopeful that things could change, that he could actually do this thing.
“I’m a night person,” he said thoughtfully. “Can this be something I do before going to bed?”
There’s an old saying: “Get into God’s Word and it’ll get into you.” (There’s another old saying: “Just do it!”) My advice to my friend – and to me afresh – is that good dads make time for God and His Word. We’re men. We can figure this one out, right? Pray about it. Commit to do so at the start of the new year. You can do this, Dad!