So far in this series, we’ve emphasized the importance of praying for our children, how to teach our kids about God and how to encourage them to pray. In today’s post, we look into how we can teach our kids God’s Word, straight from the Bible.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)
Did you catch that? “Teach them to your children” – is that a direct instruction to parents or what?! We’re talking about the Word of God here, the Bible… There’s no tip-toeing around it and passing the buck to our church or the Sunday school. It is up to us parents to teach our kids God’s Word.
A Children’s Bible
It’ll be a worthy investment to buy your child a Bible when he or she is still a toddler. That way, kids learn from a young age the importance of owning a Bible and taking care of it. They could also carry it to church like they see you do. Of course, in our case, our kids had to share one Bible, so they never got to carry it to church. A few tips:
- Buy an age-appropriate Bible. For toddlers, this would mean a Bible that can withstand a little wear and tear. We received this Bible as a gift from my sister-in-law. It was similar to a board book with stiff pages and had cute pictures. We used that when our kids were smaller and then moved on to this and this.
- If they are too young to understand the words in the Bible, instead of just reading it to them, use the pictures to explain the story to them.
- And, instead of just re-telling them the story, let the story point our kids to God. It’s important that the kids learn something about God through the Bible stories.
A simple example: Take the story of the centurion approaching Jesus, asking Him to heal his servant. The takeaway will sound something like this… “Even though Jesus did not go to the centurion’s house and lay His hands on the servant; He still healed him. In the same way, even though we cannot see Jesus; Jesus can still heal you when you’re sick.”
I think we all know that nothing can substitute the pure, undiluted word of God. When we can teach our kids nursery rhymes, why should Bible verses be left behind? Here are a few passages we’ve taught our kids over the past couple of years.
- Psalm 23
- John 3:16
- The Lord’s Prayer
- Psalm 121 (In Progress)
So, how do you go about teaching your kids to memorize scripture? Here’s what we did:
- Going at a slow pace, maybe just 1 or 2 verses a month.
- Explaining the verse in words the kids can understand.
- Being consistent, teaching them the verse every day if possible.
- Saying the verse out aloud, a few words at a time and making them repeat it after us.
- Using hand actions to emphasize the words.
- Taking some time each month to recap the previous portions of scripture they’ve memorized.
- Not expecting perfection and prompting them when they forget the verses.
Here are some links to other posts in the blogosphere that talk about teaching our kids to memorize scripture:
- A Little R & R: 4 Ways You Can Teach Toddlers God’s Word
- Growing Home: Teaching Children to Memorize Scripture
- The MOB Society: Hand Movements for Psalm 23
Given that my kids are less than 5 years old, I obviously lack experience in teaching older kids God’s Word. Would you help me and the readers out? Share with us how you’ve been teaching the Bible to your kids.
Other posts in this series:
- Let The Children Come: Introduction
- Let The Children Come: Pray for them
- Let The Children Come: Teach them about God
- Let The Children Come: Encourage them to pray
- Let The Children Come: Teach them God’s Word
- Let The Children Come: Be an example