4 Ways to Grow Your Family’s Faith This Summer

little girl sitting on top of a desk reading a Bible as an example of a way to grow your family's faith

Change is in the air. Soon our pale limbs will be exposed in summer attire and our children will stay up late chasing fireflies. We will trade cozy sweaters for bathing suits and roaring fires for swimming pools. I love summer!

I especially love the change in rhythm that summer affords. During the school year my family is up early, eating scrambled eggs and bagels just as the sun peeks through the kitchen window. But summer means slower mornings and later nights. It means more time outside catching the rays of sunshine and taking a breath after a year of studies. And when our kids were all really little, it meant pulling jammies over their damp hair in the pool bathroom showers and calling it good.

Our summer days are just a tad more lazy, a tad more unstructured. Yet summer also cracks open possibilities that weren’t there during the school year. Possibilities like exploring a museum we missed during the school year or spending hours at the beach catching waves and eating PB&J sandwiches. For my teens, summer gives them the opportunity to work extra hours at their jobs and drive to a friend’s house in the middle of the day.

And with all these possibilities comes the chance to discover new ways to connect with God this summer, ways you may not have discovered before. I am convinced we need nothing more than we need Jesus, and summer is not an exception. Perhaps for some us with school-age children, we need more of Jesus’ grace in the summer as our kids require more from us throughout the day.

4 Ways to Grow Your Family’s Faith This Summer

Just like the spring flourishes into summer, we need inner flourishing. And since Jesus spoke the words of true life, inner flourishing is found in Him. Therefore, spending time in His Word is a beautiful way for us to flourish. So let me offer you a few suggestions of ways you can allow the changing season to grow your family’s faith in God this summer.

1. Choose a children’s Bible and read it with your kids every night.

This one seems simple, but should not be overlooked. For some of us, summers are jam packed with early morning cries for breakfast and evenings so deep with exhaustion that we barely make it to our beds before falling asleep. So instead of feeling guilty that you can’t find time to open God’s Word, use this summer to grow in your understanding of the complete storyline of scripture.

As a young mom, you probably won’t be reading through the entire Bible in a year, but I bet you can read through a children’s Bible in a summer. The bonus to this plan is that you do it with your kids. I recommend Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible and N.T. Wright’s God’s Big Picture Storybook Bible. Remember that any and all time with His Word is time for your flourishing!

2. Institute quiet time for the entire family.

Once your kids are old enough for self-play, meaning they won’t draw on the wall and pee in the corner all in one sitting, teach your children to have about 20-30 minutes of quiet time in their room. Preferably do this without electronics, because we know the temper tantrums that ensue when they must give up their beloved iPad.

Consider giving them library books, a basket of toys you keep separate for quiet-time use (my kids loved MAGNA-TILES), practice math sheets (I kid you not, some kids love these. Just not my kids), and my children’s all time favorite, an audiobook or listening to an “Adventures in Odyssey” episode.

Now, you are going to be tempted to use this time to clean the kitchen or start a load of laundry, but don’t! Grab some chocolate and sit down. I might suggest reading through Matthew first and then Ephesians, and if you still have summer days left, move to 1 and 2 Peter. Read slowly, using all your senses to immerse yourself in the story.

I cherished these afternoon quiet times. For me, they were a summertime necessity, propelling me towards bedtime and a growing garden of grace within my heart.

3. Listen through the New Testament.

This one is perfect if your kids sleep in a little later or if there is a chunk of time where they are completely self-sufficient. I can’t imagine doing this with toddlers crying at my feet. But if your children’s summertime mornings are quiet or if they have an hour of sports practice every evening, then listen through the New Testament this summer. You can listen while you take a walk or wash dishes or sit at their swim practices. When time affords, you can choose to read the passage for the day instead of listening to it.

I suggest following along with Tara-Leigh Cobble’s The Bible Recap. Following her plan you can listen through the New Testament in three months, the perfect amount of time for summer (plus a little extra). With this plan, you listen to a selection of Bible chapters each day, and then Tara offers a 7- to 10-minute teaching to help you understand what you just read.

I find this situation a win-win. You have a plan, and you have help to execute your plan. This kind of consistency deepens roots for garden flourishing.

4. Meet with some moms in your community for coffee and a Bible study.

Summer is a great season to find mom friends in your neighborhood with whom to read the Bible. Of course, this is for the moms who have the time and space in their schedule to do this. As a mom of littles, don’t read this and get discouraged… or jealous! Everything in its season. And as I am now an older mom, I would go back and trade places with you in an instant! So please don’t disdain the season you are in.

For those of us with only teens in the home, we have the gift of time. Let’s use it wisely. Your teens will probably have jobs or high school sports practice, and while I’m not saying it is simple, it is certainly more simple than locking the bathroom door when you pee just so you can have four minutes of quiet a day!

One of my high school mentors started a summer neighborhood Bible study, and some of the ladies began following Jesus that summer. And there is such beauty in giving of ourselves when we can. So now that you have some extra time to give to people other than your children, take your personal flourishing and give away a bouquet.

Whatever you choose, God promises His word will not return void. Remember that as you press into His bountiful Word, God will grow your family’s faith and a beautiful garden within them—and you. I’m cheering for you, Momma!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Our culture’s messaging is often contradictory to the Bible. Here’s how to bridge that gap while facilitating your children’s connection with God this summer: How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177

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