One of the things that you notice the older you get, is you start to realize how much you have been given and how precious the time is that you have left. The things that I think kids will remember more than just doing things or going places is the traditions you build as a family. We have started a few in our family: When our kids turn 10 we go on an adventure anywhere they want to go for six days; when they turn 13 we are going to do a mentor dinner. We are always looking for ways to create memories but also to help them grow and deepen their faith. Recently a couple things happened that created for us another opportunity to deepen their faith and leave a legacy that reaches past us to our grandkids and even great grandkids.
After my grandfather passed several years ago, I remember looking through his Bible with his daily devotional stuffed inside still open to the devotion he completed the same day the Lord took him home. I remember looking through the passages he underlined and wondering why those particular ones stood out to him. I remember wondering what he was thinking or facing in the moments God was speaking to him through the scriptures. Then two weeks ago I finished a biography on Martin Lloyd-Jones. The author was talking about how he visited his church, stood in his pulpit and even looked through Lloyd-Jones’ pulpit Bible. The visceral connection between the author and the owner of the Bible was so tangible in the author’s experience at that famous English church where Dr. Lloyd-Jones spent his life making the Bible come to life through his powerful exposition. I realized at that moment I want my kids to have that same experience.
In doing the 10-year-old adventure, I want my kids to know that their family loves them. In the mentor dinner, I want them to know they are part of a bigger family, that being their church. What I want them to know when they graduate is that for all the knowledge they can acquire, the Bible is the greatest source of truth and life, and it is on the Scriptures alone we base our life and our decisions. The best way I could think to do that is for them to see me not only read a physical Bible in an age of digital everything, but also to chronicle for them what I was thinking, feeling and hearing as they were eating Lucky Charms across the breakfast table from me morning after morning.
I reached out to the folks at Crossway and they were extremely generous in gifting me a copy of their exquisite ESV Natural Leather Journaling Bible. It is much more portable than I was expecting and the leather and typeset are fantastic. More importantly, it is real leather with a stitched binding so it will last as I use it and will hold together long after I am gone. I plan on using it for the next year to two years to chronicle my devotional thoughts, sermon preparation and personal reflection. My hope, should God allow, is to do this for each of my kids and gift them their Bible upon graduation from high school—realizing I can’t make my kids love the Bible, but I can help them see how I treasure it above all things. We live in a world that is temporal and fleeting, and the best thing you can do for your kids is to let them know they are loved, to see the church as formational and the Scriptures as foundational.
This article originally appeared here.