“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again 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. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. -Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (New Living Translation)
What an important task we have been given! The task of passing along the Word of God to our kids is so important that Deuteronomy says it should be a part of every moment of our lives – when we’re home and out, in the morning and evening, over and over again.
This may be overwhelming. You may wonder if you really know God’s Word enough to teach it to your kids. Or maybe you’re scared of being so boring that your kids won’t be interested. Or maybe there are so many tools out there to help and you just don’t know which ones to use in your context.
Here are some things we have done, which may just help your family too!
- Model what you want to see from your kids.
I cannot overstate the importance of this one! Our kids become mirrors into our souls. They magnify both our greatest strengths and our weaknesses as they copy our behaviours. You will not get from your kids what you are not willing to do yourself.
Each morning, almost without fail, my husband and I grab our coffee (an essential that early!) and our Bibles. We sit on the couch and take some quiet time to set our minds on God. The kids know that this is a special time and observe it most mornings.
First, our six year old started picking up her Bible and reading along with us. Now, our dear three year old (who can’t even read, by the way!), picks up a Bible and flips through it for a minute or two as well. Get the habit started now.
You don’t have to be a biblical scholar or have all the answers. Your commitment to the Bible will influence your child.
- Use a journal to copy out Scripture.
My husband faithfully writes down Scripture and what he is learning in a journal. My six year old noticed her daddy writing day after day and asked if he could buy her one too. Now she opens her Bible, pulls out her journal, and copies a verse from the Bible. Sometimes we talk about it. Sometimes we don’t. But seeds are being planted and she can go back and see how the Bible became meaningful in her life.
- Read a great children’s Bible to your kids.
I am unashamedly in love with The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (we are even on our fifth copy because it gets so much love in our home!). The writing is interesting, the illustrations are beautiful, and every story, even the Old Testament ones, explains how the story points to Jesus. There is also an audio version narrated by David Suchet that is perfect bedtime listening. What better way is there for your kids to fall asleep than listening to Bible stories read in the soothing British accent of David Suchet?
I said it before and I will say it again. You do not need to have all the answers! You do not need to be the most interesting teacher! You do not have to reinvent the wheel or create new material! Read together, talk about what it means to you, and pray for understanding. Just start.
What are your favourite tools for fostering a love of the Bible in your children?
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