Why should my children learn to read?
When I think about this question, a good many perfectly rational answers come to mind. For example, without the ability to read, my children will be woefully handicapped in a digital world. They will be unable to achieve a high school diploma. College would be out of the question, and their main choice for an occupation would be in manual labor. (Even there they would be limited.) I could go on and on with many reasons why my children should learn to read, but I haven’t told my 7 & 8 year old any of these. I’m sure that there will be a day that we talk about the blessings that come with reading, but here at the beginning of their journey, I want them to have their priorities straight.
If you ask my children this question, you will get one answer.
Why should you learn to read? So that I can read the Bible.
There it is. Simple, yet profound in its implications.
Why do you learn to read? So that you can have immediate and personal access to the very Words of God that contain the Answer to all of the questions.
Other reasons, while important, seem so secondary that I don’t even bring them up.
To make this happen practically, we are currently having our Faith Talks (Family Devotions) using “My First Read-aloud Bible” from the American Bible Society. My 8 year old reads a passage aloud and then explains the lesson, then my 7 year old repeats the process on the following page. We have found it to be a great time for both the mind and the soul, and it helps to reinforce the true reason for learning to read.
There is no question that reading is an important life skill. I am convinced, though, that its greatest value is in leading the reader into a relationship with the One who gives life for all eternity. Teach your children to read. Then lead them to something worth reading.