Teaching our kids to love Scripture

Author: Wesley Jank
"Dad…"

His soft voice trembled, I lowered the book and looked into his brown eyes.

"Yeah, what's up?" I asked.

 His eyes darted to the ground, "Dad, I just wanted to say…" he paused and then sighed, "Dad, I lied to you."

I closed the Bible and placed it on the table beside us. "Oh," I said, trying my best not to smile.

I wasn't happy that he lied to me, but I was beyond delighted that God's words were convicting him.

We were reading through our chapter of Proverbs for that morning. We were reading chapter 6, the part that talks about God hating lies.

I wasn't teaching him the Bible. I hadn't made a big deal about God hating lies. I didn't even know that he had lied to me. We were simply reading God's word together. That's it. And God spoke to his heart.

As a dad of 4 young kids, I can't think of anything more important than the daily reading of God's word and not just for them, for me as well.

If you are a Christian dad or mom, I assume that you feel the same way. Our kids need to hear from God as much as we need to.

But it's not easy. I get it. Life is busy, and if your kids are like mine, they can be pretty, uhh should we say, lively?

Too often, after a full and busy day, it's just easier to put them in front of Netflix or pass them the iPad to play Minecraft.  

I know I'm guilty of that.

Here are five easy to implement strategies that I have found helpful for the daily reading of God's word.

  1. Be consistent.

I have this listed as #1 because I believe that it is the most important. Most research indicates that children not only need routines but that they enjoy having them.

A regular anticipated routine of daily reading the Bible will benefit your children.

I have experimented with mornings and evenings and have now landed on a routine that seems to work for us.

In the morning during breakfast, we read portions of the book of Proverbs.  

Then in the evening, we have a second round, a more carefully thought out bible study with the kids (Right now we are going chronologically through the Bible from creation to Christ).

We reserve the evenings just before bedtime for this bible study.

The trick is to be consistent. Whatever part of the Bible, you choose to study—be consistent.

Whatever time you choose to read the Bible— be consistent.

They will come to expect it and enjoy it as a part of the routine.

2. Avoid topical study (pick a book and go through it)

This might be a pet peeve of mine, but I do think that it's essential, here's why:

The Bible has real ideas that it wants to communicate with us. It was written in real-world situations and was addressed to real people who were going through challenging situations.

So it is a mistake to take the Words of God and cut them out of their contexts for the sole purpose of cherry-picking themes.

The solution? Don't go topically through the Bible. Instead, pick a book of the Bible and work your way chronology though it so that you can hear the words of God in CONTEXT.

3. Explain 
This is especially important if you are reading from a hard-to-understand translation such as the King James!

Kids are smart. I'm always impressed with what they can understand (we read from the NKJV), but it's super important to pause and review what you are learning as you go through it.

If we are working with Scripture that I'm not familiar with, I will often read through it the night before to help me understand it so that I can better explain it to my children.

4. Ask questions
This is the part that I enjoy most. Most nights I review what we will be reading the following day.  While I do this, I think of age-appropriate questions for each of my children. I even include questions for my four-year-old.

Asking good questions does at least two things.

  1. It solidifies their comprehension and forces them to take what they are hearing and communicate it back to you in their own words. 
  2. You are teaching them to interpret God's word! 

When you ask a good question, you are guiding them in biblical interpretation.

5. End with and prayer
Ask your kids about their day. Ask them how you can pray for them. Be honest with them about some of your prayer requests too. 

My kids love to pray for me in this way. I'm often blown away by how much they care. Even days later, my kids will ask me about how a situation turned out!

Conclusion

These strategies will help create a love in our children for God and his Word. But I also understand that it's time consuming and the truth is—following them takes work.

But I do believe that it's worth it.
God has tasked us as parents with the job and privilege of teaching our children His incredible Word. 
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1 Comment


Bobby - May 29th, 2020 at 10:20pm

I love this. All I can say is thanks! No real comments, just thankful for this truth and so happy to have my grandkids in a situation like that!