How to Develop Habits of Reading
Over the last few weeks, I have given you some steps on how both to read your Bible and how to study your Bible. Today I want to spend a little time discussing the development of good reading habits. You see, if you do not have good reading habits, you will not persevere in the discipline of reading, especially reading the Bible. Here are four things to keep in mind as you cultivate a love and passion for reading.
Set a Regular Time and Regular Place
I would say that the bedrock of establishing a discipline of reading is to set a daily time and place for it and commit to that time and place. If you do not have this I can almost guarantee you will not keep the discipline of reading a priority in your life. I have a closet in my house. It functions as a type of office, but trust me, it is a closet. I have a desk, a chair, a lamp, a keurig and a library roll cart to the left of the desk. On my desk are the books I am currently reading and on the cart rests the books in queue.
Read for a Set Amount of Time
I have mentioned this before, but I get up at 5:30 a.m. and I pray and read until around 7:00 a.m. It doesn't matter where I am in my reading at 7:00 a.m. I stop and press pause. My wife and I ebb and flow on doing this in the evenings too. Some evenings we set a 15 minute timer for reading and we read as much as we can for those 15 minutes. When the timer is finished, we put the book down. It doesn't matter if it is mid-sentence or not. We are finished for the night. Set a time for yourself to read. Make it a doable time. Don't attempt to go from not reading at all to reading 3 hours a day. You will never achieve that. Start out by reading 5-10 minutes a day and see where that goes. This will aid you in establishing a discipline.
Take Advantage of Down Time
I always keep a book on me. It is either a book on audio, a PDF on my phone, or a hard copy with a pen in hand. I have meetings where someone may be running late. I can pick up 5 minutes there. I may have a dentist appointment and I can pick up 10 minutes of reading in the waiting room. I listen to podcasts and books on audio when I commute. You would be amazed at how much ground you can cover on a 10 minute commute 5 days a week. The point is, pay attention to your down time. You have more than you realize.
Exceptions: Moms Know Your Season
Before I close, I'd like to say a quick word to Moms with young children. You are in a difficult season. Most days you're just trying to keep your head above water. I am so grateful for your ministry and sacrifice. Next week my wife is going to guest blog how she works in devotions as a young mother. The Lord knows the seasons we are in. He puts us in those seasons. So don't fret. Persevere. For now, I would recommend books on audio, especially a good Bible on audio book. And as a husband, I would encourage your husbands to give you time away so that you can be recharged in the Lord.
That's enough for now, we will pick up more later.