…Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
Psalm 68:5 (NLT)
This weekend, in many countries around the world, people will be celebrating dads, grandpas, and father figures. As you celebrate the fathers in your life, here are some of our favorite verses, which you might share* to tell them thanks and offer them inspiration:
…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:10–11 (NIV)
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
Psalm 103:13 (NLT)
* To share a verse: From inside the Bible App, just tap the verse(s) you want to share, then tap the “sharing” icon and follow the prompts.
Becoming a Dad Who Inspires.
If you’re a Dad looking for godly insight for how you can inspire the people who matter most to you, we’ve put together a list of several Bible Plans to help:
Zondervan, 21 days
Covering topics like love, patience, self-discipline, and more, this series of devotionals helps you daily model for your family what it means to follow Christ.
Craig Groeschel and Zondervan, 11 days
Using examples from the life of Samson, author and pastor Craig Groeschel helps you discover the powerful man with a warrior’s heart that God intends you to be.
Men’s Devotional Bible, 14 days
Written by men for men, these engaging, practical devotions and application questions help you put God’s Word into practice in your everyday life.
UNCOMMEN, 5 days
In just a few minutes each day, this series of short devotionals will stretch your dad muscles and help you learn to lead as a husband and father.
Family I.D., 31 days
Explore biblical values that your family can pray through together, helping guide you through the daily decisions that will one day become your legacy.
Once A Day, 21 days
Featuring excerpts from the Once-A-Day Devotional for Men, daily devotions encourage you with insights into what it means to be God’s son.
“…those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.
It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
—Jesus, from John 4:14 (NLT)
Thank you for joining us for our first-ever Family Bible Week. And now that you’ve tasted this living water, don’t stop! Here are just a few ways that you can continue to build on the many successes you’ve been sharing with us during Family Bible Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NASB)
Pick Your Next Plan.
Many families told us they really enjoyed reading a Bible Plan together. Bible Plans are a great way you can keep leading your family back to the well of God’s Word again and again. Which one will you do next?
“Our daughters signed up for their own account at bible.com. All four of us love discussing what we’re learning, even recommending Bible Plans to each other. We’ve been sharing verses and making comments. Jesus has really come alive to our girls in this way; they’ve both felt Him, especially when it comes time to pick a new one.”
…“Write my answer plainly on tablets…. This vision is for a future time. It describes
the end, and it will be fulfilled. …wait patiently, for it will surely take place….
Habakkuk 2:2–3 (NLT)
Take Your Family Verse Further.
Did your family find a great theme verse during Family Bible Week? One that inspires you with vision? Have a family art project to write it out in huge letters on nice quality paper. Then place it prominently in your home, so you can remind yourselves every day what you value. You might even consider having your Family Verse framed!
Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family],
giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
Romans 8:12 (AMP)
Celebrate Each Other.
On Mother’s Day, we suggested you share a Bible verse to let all the moms in your life know how much they mean to you. But you can make every day “Family Day.” Whether it’s by posting a Verse Image to their Facebook page, or even just sending a text, encourage the people you love with inspiration from God’s Word.
“Last week at the beach, I took a picture and searched for just the right Bible verse to make a Verse Image. On Mother’s Day, I sent it to my mother – she was blown away! Even though we are thousands of miles apart, I will always remember my mother’s love and compassion that enabled me to endure the obstacles throughout the course of my life.”
My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
What you learn from them will crown you with grace
and be a chain of honor around your neck.
Proverbs 1:8–9 (NLT)
Invest in Your Family’s Spiritual Life.
On Thursday we listed seven tips that could help you lead your family spiritually. When you maintain consistent, healthy relationships with each member of your family (that is, genuine, safe, and fun), those things will happen naturally. If you regularly think about your faith, and you regularly visit with your spouse and children, faith will be a regular part of those conversations.
“On the way to school, instead of the typical middle school chatter, we have our daughter read aloud the Verse of the Day and then explain in her own words what she thinks it means. It’s become a highlight and my own day feels “off” if we ever miss for some reason. I’ve noticed she reads these even on the weekends! It’s an excellent way to get something started with your family.”
…commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine….
Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home
and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed
and when you are getting up….
Deuteronomy 18:11-20 (NLT)
Enjoy Family Story Time… Every Day.
In partnership with OneHope, we designed the Bible App for Kids to give your kids (and grandkids) a delight-filled Bible experience all their own. And, although it already features more than 30 stories, many more are still to come. Enjoy new stories with your kids, and revisit their favorites again and again.
“The Bible for Kids is a smashing success with our foster children, ages 2 & 3. It was the number one activity that they asked for – “Can we do Bible?”
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God….
for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ….
God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished….
Philippians 1:3–6 (NLT)
Keep Sharing Your Stories!
Your commitment to living out the love of Jesus in your families this week has been inspiring. We’ve loved receiving your stories, and we’re looking forward to sharing many of them to inspire other families. So please keep them coming!
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
You want to lead your kids in a growing relationship with Christ. But with your active family’s busy schedule, it can be hard to find the time. You may even feel unqualified to lead your children. If you’re like most parents, you’re still trying to figure out what faith looks like in your own life.
To help you get started, we’ve gathered some of our favorite tips from Focus on the Family. Don’t try to use all of these ideas at once. If you’ll be intentional to phase them in over time, they should gradually begin happening naturally:
1. Make it fun.
Engaging with God’s will through His Word isn’t school textbooks and quizzes; your family life is an adventure. Talk with your kids about things relevant to their lives, helping them apply biblical principles with age-appropriate language they can understand. Don’t try to “teach.” Encourage exploration, with gentle course corrections where they need it.
2. Keep it simple.
The average adult can listen for about 30 seconds before their mind wants to wander. Kids’ attention spans are even shorter. So instead of trying to “explain,” try asking leading questions. Feed your child’s natural curiosity. Your questions — and theirs — will fuel meaningful conversations.
3. Watch for opportunities.
Teachable moments happen everywhere in our everyday lives. When you see a squirrel burying an acorn, marvel together at how God provides for us. When you see trash in the park, say it makes you sad because God wants us to take good care of His earth. Make simple, connectable observations.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 (NIV)
4. Be an example.
Live out your faith. Allow God’s Spirit to speak into your life, constantly transforming you into the person He wants you to become. You can’t lead your children to places you haven’t been. And connecting with the Bible — every day — is one of the best ways we know to grow.
5. Schedule time together.
Schedule regular times to talk at home about faith and spiritual things. Then demonstrate how we put faith into action. Lead your family to be spiritual contributors, not spiritual consumers. Make it a family priority to attend church regularly — and to participate. Then stay consistent, both at home and in your community of faith.
6. Talk to God together.
Lead your kids in praying about the things they care about. And lead them to never stop taking those things to God. Model for them how they can listen for His still, small voice. Keep track of things you’re praying for together, and celebrate when God answers. Demonstrate for your children what a life of worship and gratitude looks like.
7. Make it fun.
No, that’s not a mistake — this one is so important, we put it on our list twice! When your kids enjoy exploring their faith with you, they’ll look forward to family time together. They’ll even initiate it! Even better, you’ll be giving them the most important part of their faith: they’ll own their own spiritual growth, continually drawing closer to God.
Children, do what your parents tell you.
This is only right. “Honor your father and mother”
is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it,
namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”
Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them.
Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.
We’d like to thank Focus on the Family for providing their excellent resources on building your family’s faith.
Change is in the air. For much of the world, this change in the seasons marks the start of family fun and celebration. Many families are planning activities to keep their school-aged children occupied during the summer season. Other families are planning the next season of their lives, as they celebrate their “kids” who are graduating. And this coming Sunday, families from many countries will celebrate their mothers, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers for Mother’s Day.
That’s why today we’re announcing Family Bible Week. Family Bible Week is our special summer kick-off event to help you draw your family together around God’s Word. Beginning this Sunday, May 10th, join us for a week of tips, ideas… and prizes!
Celebrate Mom. Share a Bible verse that honors your mother and expresses how much she means to you. (We’ll suggest a few of our favorites to help get you started.)
Pick a Family Bible Plan. Choose a Bible Plan that your whole family can read together. (We’ll share a list of Plans that we recommend.) And if you’ll let us know which Plan you’re doing by using the hashtag #FamilyBiblePlan, your family may even win a prize!
Share Your Story. How does your family let God’s Word speak into your lives? How do you keep your family centered around faith in Christ? We’d love to hear your story! This week, we’ll tell you the best ways you can share it with us.
Create a Family Verse Image. What’s your family’s “theme” Bible verse? Don’t have one? No worries! We’ll offer some tips for how your family can choose their favorite. And if you share your Family Verse as a Verse Image using the hashtag #OurFamilyVerse, we’ll be randomly selecting a few families to receive prizes!
Enjoy Family Story Time. The next all-new Bible App for Kids story arrives next Friday. We’ll tell you then what it is and how you can get it, so you can enjoy it together as a family — not to mention the more than 30 stories already in the Bible App for Kids!
In the weeks to come, we hope you’ll invest some of the time you’ll be spending with family to intentionally engage with the Bible together. We’re looking forward to helping you explore new ways that you can seek God’s wisdom and encouragement — together, as a family.
“…I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”
Jeremiah 29:11–13, The Message
While most in the U.S. express strong support that everyone who wants a Bible should be able to have one, few have a clear grasp of the big picture of Bible access, according to the 2015 State of the Bible report just released by American Bible Society. The findings bring key insight about Bible availability and more:
Most people (98% of those surveyed) believe everyone should be free to own and read the Bible.
“Eighty-eight percent of American households own at least one Bible,
with the average household owning about four copies”
Geof Morin, American Bible Society
Most (72%) also believe that’s already happening. Unfortunately, it’s simply not the case:
More than half of the world’s 6,901 languages still do not have a complete Bible translation. For speakers of more than 1,859 languages, God simply doesn’t speak their language. Translation of the Bible hasn’t even started in the language they use in their everyday conversations. They’ve never heard truths in their heart language, something most of us take for granted:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38–39 NIV
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22 ESV
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”
Ephesians 3:18 NLT
And for an additional 2,195 languages, speakers only have part of the Bible available in their language.
Sharing the vision, continuing the work
We live in a unique time in history, equipped with tools that can help us reach more people than ever before with the Gospel. In fact, we have the potential to see the realization of a goal that past generations could only dream about. In our lifetime, we could see the Bible translated into every language on earth. This is only possible thanks to a broad coalition of partners like American Bible Society, publishers, authors, translators, and YouVersion volunteers around the globe. We are working together in unprecedented ways so that every person in the world can connect with the Bible, no matter where they live or what language they speak.