In this ‘time poor’ world, many parents struggle to do everything they long to do with their children. Here, Terry Williams describes the ‘hidden benefits’ of spending time with your children and with God.

There’s a welcome side-effect of doing ‘God things’ such as playing Guardians of Ancora together, because God will speak to you through his Word, just as much as he speaks to your child.

Look out for and make the most of these opportunities, by:

  • Praying and asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to what God is saying to you through the Bible;
  • Sharing what you are learning with other Christians – and learning from them so that we all learn, together, what God is saying;
  • Seeing the Bible as one big story about God taking action in his world – a story which helps us to see what action God wants to take in the story of our own lives;
  • Checking  that our understanding of the part of the Bible we are looking at is similar to the understanding of the first audience or participants, by asking:
    • What were customs and cultures in those days?
    • What type of writing is it? – a poem, a dream, a history book, and so on.
    • Where does it fit into the whole Bible’s story?
  • Trusting the Bible and allowing it to check our understanding;
  • Realising how our own experiences, culture and worldview affect our understanding;
  • Listening carefully to what Christians from other backgrounds understand and checking it all against the main message of the Bible;
  • Allowing the Bible to change your life, as you discover more and put more of it into practice;
  • Using the Bible to answer our own big questions of faith such as:
    • Who was – and is – Jesus?
    • Why did he come to earth and live among people?
    • Why did he die and rise again?
    • Where is he now?
    • What happens when he returns?
  • Receiving the Bible as a love letter from God, that leads us to love God and love others in return.

Any and all of these benefits are positive side-effects – maybe even unexpected ones – but ones which will enrich your own experience and understanding of the Bible, as you and your child play and learn together.

Terry Williams is Children’s Ministry Specialist for Scripture Union Queensland and SU International. Terry trained and worked as a teacher in primary and secondary schools before joining the staff team of Scripture Union Queensland where he has worked for over 30 years. In 2008 Terry divided his time to join the SU International staff team in a part-time capacity where part of his role is to serve on a small global training team helping to multiply trainers across the world.

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