Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How to teach the Bible to Kids in 4 steps


If you are a person who is frustrated because you don't know the Bible well yet, you feel your kids need to know the Bible, this is the post for you. 

The first step is not to be embarrassed. Everyone has to start somewhere. Leave your shame and regrets behind and get ready to embark in a great adventure with God and with your family.

The second step is to remember that you can't give what you don't have. We need the word of God in us in order to pass it on to our children. I am not saying you need to become a scholar. I am saying that you will need to step up and read the Bible for yourself as you guide your children.

This is a great time to answer a good question. Why not let the church do all the Bible teaching? Why must moms teach the Bible to their kids? Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV) says:

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

God made it clear that His words need to be in us and we are to diligently teach them to our children. Parents should partner with the church to teach children the Bible. Think about it this way: in the light of eternity, we are responsible for teaching our children about our faith. The church is a supplement to the teaching that happens at home.

We know how to be diligent. Parents are diligent about attending every sports team practice and games they sign up their kids to participate. Parents take kids to and fro music lessons. Diligence means calling the doctor and setting up appointments because the health of our children is of great priority. Diligence means knowing what your kids want for Christmas and watching their happy faces (or mad faces... ask me how I know) on Christmas morning.

We can be diligent with our own faith and the faith of our children.

The third step is to make sure our kids see us reading the Bible. That's the only way they will know it's important. I know I'm stepping on the toes of the person who says their faith is private. Entertain my theory for a sec. When it comes to children, more is caught than taught. If they see me reading my Bible and praying, they will have a visual of what it means to grab a hold of God.

A few years ago, I decided to use an actual book when reading the Bible. My kids were little and they didn't understand if I was reading the Bible or looking at social media. I also decided that they need to know what touching the Bible and flipping the pages feels like. I want them to know how to properly take care of the Bible. I also wanted to teach them about different versions. When they grow up they can make such choices for themselves. For now, I am putting the effort to connect my love for God to His word. And yes, I use my app quite a bit, mostly when I'm by myself.

The fourth step is to start small. If the Bible is foreign to your kids, you might want to cover the basics. I'll add a few resources at the end of this post. I like the seasonal approach. Because Christmas is coming up, we have been reading Luke 1. We cover a few verses at the time (because, attention span) and we talk about what we read. If your kids are smaller than mine, you can read the Bible to them. The key is to remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I use a real Bible, not a book about the Bible. I also give tips on what to read to my kids. I always tell them the Gospels, Psalms and Proverbs are great books to read. I have a child who was interested in Revelation and I was like, go ahead! There had been lots of questions about heaven lately. I sometimes cover whatever topic they want to learn about. Last summer, one of my kids wanted to know who Ezekiel was. We covered his life and we read a few main Bible verses.

I'm here to tell you that you have what it takes to teach the Bible to your children. You can't run away from this assignment God gave you as His child. Let go of the embarrassment. There's no use to feel ashamed that you are not all-knowing when it comes to Biblical scholarship. God's brilliance in writing the Bible is such that a 1-year-old can understand it and a scholar can't get deep enough it. The Bible is for everyone, you included.
Remember you can't give what you don't have. Start reading the Bible as a habit. How will you find the time? Cut down your mindless social media scrolling for 15 minutes. You're welcome.
Make sure your kids see you reading the Bible. I often read before they wake up but I make sure I'm not a secret agent for Jesus and I live my faith out loud often. More is caught than taught.
Finally, start small. Start with one verse at the end of the day. God will guide you and lead you in this amazing journey.
Let me know how your process goes!

Resources:

The Holy Bible - because we don't need one more book about how to read the Bible. Just do it!
Merry Ministries Podcast and notes - if you want to know more about the Bible, this is my favorite resource. I listen to it when I'm doing chores. There are notes and teachings on all books of the Bible. I personally know the teacher and founder. She's been faithfully teaching the Bible for decades. 

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