by Sherry Edwards
Summer Reading. I have my stack of books that I hope to read over the summer. My kids have signed up for several summer reading programs. They are even reading while I type this.
I want to focus, not on the scholastic side of summer reading, but on the spiritual side.
One of my summer reading books is “How to Read Slowly” by James W. Sire. It’s not about reading slow; it’s about reading with our mind. He points us to questions: What is the worldview of the author? How are they trying to influence me? Do I agree with their worldview?
I look at our stack of books and wonder how they influence our faith, our values, and our dreams. Some of the books are imagination filled fiction. Some are Newberry Award children’s books. But I want some to have more value. Let’s read a book that pulls us into worship of our King. What if our summer reading could make us long for the Kingdom of God?
As we read this summer, I hope for discussions of God. How does sin influence the main character’s decisions? Does the plot bring honor to God or applaud deceit? Do the kids have respect for their parents? Do characters show kindness to their friends? How does this book point us to Jesus?
If you are reading board books to your baby or toddler, read a book that tells them how much Jesus loves them. If you are reading aloud to your preschooler, point out the fruit of the Spirit in a character. If your kids are reading chapter books, ask hard questions about worldview and faith.
My daughter is currently reading a fluffy and silly book about a fairy. It seems quite useless, but I can find good questions to ask her about it. Why did the fairy lie to her friend? What would have happened if she had been honest? What happens when you lie? What does God say about lying? We can have great conversations about repentance and forgiveness.
My son just finished a book about an Egyptian god that escapes from a museum to take over the world. This is funny fiction, but it leads to a discussion of false gods. It points us to what are our idols. How do we pursue our hearts towards the first two commandments?
So this summer read with your mind. Have your kids read with their minds. Point it all to Jesus!