Readers are leaders

When I was young, I absolutely despised reading. I thought reading about science or outside was a waste of time when I could just go outside and play with bugs to learn about them! "Why do I have to pick up a stupid book to learn about what's outside" is something I can hear my younger self saying as a middle schooler. Or, "Why do I have to read my Bible when we go to church 3 times every week?" This is something I look back on and somewhat regret being so difficult about, but was a real struggle for me to sit down and read.
Though I really did not enjoy sitting inside reading, my mom made me read. She made me read my Bible. She made me read biographies of missionaries and people who accomplished great things. She made me read sciencey books (that were written for middle school boys, like this one) and all sorts of other kinds of reading. I can still hear her quoting my old Pastor who would quote Harry S. Truman who said, "..Leaders Are Readers". As a middle schooled child this meant nothing to me. I had my games. I had my ipod. I had outside to play. "Reading is boring." 

“Not All Readers Are Leaders, but All Leaders Are Readers”
- Harry S. Truman

I can only imagine today with so many more distractions today how much harder it is for students to love reading. But it makes sense. Brands are purposefully targeting teenagers on social media that is attractive to them.  Phones, apps, games and media is made to hold teenager's attention captive. To get stuck in their head. To get them stuck on whatever is being marketed. It's no wonder many will not sit down and read a book on their own.

Looking back. I am glad my mom made me read. I'm glad my mom said "Read for 30 minutes before you go out and play". Did I make it difficult? Sometimes, I absolutely did! (I was afterall a middle school boy at one time!) But it taught me a lot. It grew me and my interest in science (I went and got my biology degree). It gave me a love and appreciation for God's word. It gave me a respect for what many missionary men and women have gone through to serve Christ. It gave me wisdom beyond myself (The more you learn, the more you realize you don't know!)

I want to call on you to overcome this! MAKE your kids read. Make them read biographies of missionaries and Christians around the world.  Make them read their Bible (I recommend this one if they don't have one). Make them read about God's creation from a Christian perspective (their schools are happy to tell them their opinions). Make them read for our youth Bible study. If they are doing their 5-day/week readings (which usually only takes about 15 minutes or so)!

There will be days that they don't want to. There will be days that it will be difficult. I know you may be worried you are giving them too much, or you don't want to create feelings of resentment. But let me encourage you with this.

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it."

As a parent, you have been given the unique role of investing in them. In showing them truth. In helping them to learn and to love the scriptures. In training them how to be (one day) adults who live for the glory of God. So make them read. Make time for them to learn and to want to learn. Be persistent in this journey and don't give up after the difficult days. You can do it! And they will be thankful!

Some more books: 

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