Five things to do with those Little Bibles
Do you have a few of those little Bibles lying around? You know, the Gideon Bibles that have the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs in them and are about the size of your hand? If not, you can find them at your local dollar store for, you guessed it, a dollar. With the miniature print and the King James Version text often found therein, you might be wondering what practical use they could possibly have. As it turns out, these Bibles are awesome tools for littles. Here are five things you can do with those little Bibles.
- To Have and To Hold
I get it. You don’t want your toddler getting up close and personal with your Bible. Our Bibles are precious to us. They’ve been through a journey of the heart and if that journey gets ripped to shreds, we might just lose it. I’ll never forget when I put my two-year-old to bed with the Precious Moments Bible that I had when I was little. She treated it so gently in my presence that I was naively delusional, assuming she would be ever so tender in my absence as well. When I woke up and walked in her room to see pieces of that Bible strewn in all directions, my heart melted on the floor.
Our efforts to protect our own Bibles are well meaning and often necessary. However, the message that gets sent to our littles tends to be Do not touch. This is not for you. Only the Word of God is for them. It’s for everyone. And we want them to touch it, to love it, to become fascinated and hunger for this supernatural book of life.
So give your babies Bibles. Those little Bibles are perfect for our littles to have and to hold. They can carry them around. They can bring them to church. When you get your Bible out, they can get theirs out.
“But they can’t read!”
It’s fine. You are cultivating hunger for God’s Word. You are cultivating a love for the Lord. You are teaching them that His Word is precious. And if that Bible gets ripped, it was only a dollar. Get another. Talk to them about treating their Bible with love and try again.
- Finding Jesus in the Word
Print off some pictures of Jesus and stick them in the little Bible. Have your child open the Bible and find Jesus. This teaches very young children that the Bible is all about Him.
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
- Making Your Bible Run
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
Grab a map – a shower curtain map, a poster of a map, a printed map – and make your little Bibles run across it saying, “Let the Word of the Lord run swiftly and be glorified!” Young children love to lift their Bibles high in the air for “glorified”. This is so simple, but toddlers find such joy in it. And they are beginning their journey of partnering with the Lord in intercession.
“But they don’t understand what they are saying!”
That’s okay. Their understanding will grow. You can start explaining truths to them as you pray together. “We want everyone everywhere to know Jesus.”
- Run baby, Run!
While we’re on the subject of the Word of the Lord running swiftly, you can also do this prayer with those little Bibles by having your child run across a shower curtain map, Bible in hand. Just say the prayer and encourage him or her to run from one side of the map to the other, raising that Bible high in the air in the end.
- Find Prayers in the Bible
All of the PICTURE PRAYERS from the STEP ONE PRAYER GUIDE are from the Word of God. You can print them off, cut them out, and stick them (one or two at a time) in a little Bible for your child to discover. When they discover them, you can pray them together. That might mean you say the words while your child listens until he or she gains the language skills to be able to say them with you.
Feeling ambitious? Are you a Pintresty mom? Laminate them and stick some Velcro on the back. Then get a laminated map poster and stick the other side of Velcro on other countries. The children can find the prayers in their Bibles and stick them on countries, praying those prayers for those countries.
As children grow older, you can help them find important verses in their Bibles and highlight them, bookmarking the page with a post-it note. You can make getting a “big” Bible a BIG deal. When they show they are responsible with their little Bible, they can earn the right to get a Big Bible. It can become a right of passage in your family.
It’s up to you how you handle this in your family, but we make a distinction between Bible story books and real Bibles. Bible story books can be great tools and we aren’t ashamed to use them; we just don’t call them Bibles. The Word of God is sacred and special, so there’s a distinction drawn.
However you choose to use Bibles, we encourage you to USE THEM! Let those babies have Bibles. Cultivate a love for the Word of God from an early age.