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Reading Fiction to Your Children Can Bring Them Closer to God

By Peter Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Mar 06, 2012

Just as story reading is at the center of my daughters’ bedtime rituals, so it was at the center of mine when I was a child. There were six children in our family, and Dad read bedtime stories and sang lullabies to all of us. He did this until we were far older, I suspect, than many of our peers.

What did Dad read to us? The Chronicles of Narnia. The Lord of the Rings. Where the Red Fern Grows. The Wheel on the School. Everything from long, epic tales to humorous short stories.

The time that Dad spent reading to us no doubt broadened our horizons and grew our vocabulary. But the time he shared with us strengthened our bond to him and to each other. The stories that he read and explained communicated and encouraged virtue. Some of the books became lifelong companions, and I continue to enjoy and draw inspiration from them.

As I read to my children, I’m conscious that the subject matter is drawing distinctions between good and evil, between right and wrong, between selfishness and charity, between arrogance and humility, between cowardice and courage, etc. What I first thought was going to be merely a shared time of enjoyment is actually a continuous lesson. I’m communicating to my children, through stories, the way to heaven.

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