Growing up in the church I heard all the Bible stories. I thought it was cool that David killed a guy three times his size (1 Sam. 17), I loved the idea of three men going into the fiery furnace, not dying, and then people seeing 4 men inside (Daniel 3:8-30). I always thought it was a little strange that God killed a bunch of kids for making fun of a bald guy (2 Kings 2:23-24) yet if I were honest, these Bible stories that I learned were more of a random collection of stories rather than something that made sense as a whole.
As a father of four young children, I have a deep desire for them to know and learn the stories of the Bible. Yet even deeper than this I want them to know the central hero of these stories. I want them to see that it was cool that God showed up for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but I want them to see that Jesus has shown up for them and freed them from the eternal fiery furnace. I want them not to look at the murder of Abel and take away that they need to be really nice to their siblings (even though that would be awesome!). I want them to see the faith in God that Abel had. I want them to read the stories that make up the greatest book in the world and know and understand the larger, grander story. A story they are a part of.
As parents, this should be our hope for our children. We should desire that they would read the Scripture and it would change them. To do this we need to have different inlets for them to get a steady diet of these stories. In my church life experience, the summer tends to be a time where we think we can take some time off. However, it seems like the opposite should be true; the summer should be a time to dive deeper into the story of who God is. Children will have less school, work for us as parents can slow down, vacations happen. All of these things are chances for us as parents to lead our family to invest the summer for the glory of Jesus, not waste it on our selfish desires or doing those things which America puts so much value on.
Maybe this summer can be a time that we as parents will invest more into our children, not less. This may mean thinking through our vacation time and building a rhythm into it of Bible study and learning more about our Lord and Savior. Maybe, if your work allows it, you can go in a little late one morning a week and you can do a special breakfast. Maybe use lunch time with your children to talk through what they have been learning in their Sunday School class at your local church. Maybe its talking to their Sunday School teacher and getting some follow up questions to ask them at the dinner table on Sunday.
No matter what happens this summer, please don’t show your children that summer is a time to be lazy in your spiritual walk. Use this time intentionally to dive deeper into the big story of who God is. It is the only story that can bring about lasting change. It is the only story worth investing your summer in!