[This is a part of The Most Important Book Ever Written Series.]
I grew up going to Sunday school. I went to church Sunday morning and evening. So too did my wife. It was part of what it meant to grow up in the families we came from. Through doing this I gained a really great biblical foundation for my faith.
Now that I have kids, I want them to have the same foundations that I had growing up. So, instead of just leaving their bible knowledge and understanding of God to chance, my wife and I have decided to take a pro-active approach.
Here’s 5 easy ways we’ve used to teach our kids about Jesus and the Bible;
1) We read them the Bible and tell them Bible stories - We will often tell our children bible stories as a way to pass time while traveling in the car. It’s gotten to the point where they know many of them very well, including all the details. As a result we’ll regularly do pop bible quizzes which they love. Instead of telling them a story I’ll ask them a question, something like ‘who was the guy who had long hair and super strength?’. If they don’t know the answer we’ll give a hint until they get. It’s a great way to teach them the stories and keep it fun.
2) We take our kids to church every weekend - As a family we’ve made the decision that church attendance isn’t an option. We’ve set aside Sundays for Worship. That means we take our kids along to both morning and evening services. It’s our routine and the kids know that’s what we do and why. Jesus is the main focus of this day of the week.
3) We’ve invested in resources that help us teach our kids the bible - We’re constantly on the look out for resources to help us teach our kids. We don’t see it as the churches role alone to teach them. We partner with our church to give them a well rounded understanding. Here’s a few resources that have been really helpful;
Books -Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna has been one book that has reminded us to keep the training of our kids in the things of God central. It’s a research based book that shows the commonality amongst parents who’s children have now grown up and are still Christians. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if your primary goal for your kids is to grow them up to love Jesus, then it’s definitely worth reading.
Teaching DVD’s - Recently we’ve discovered the ‘What’s in the Bible’ DVD series. They’re a great resource for us because they’ve helped to raise topics with our kids that we may, or may not, have thought to teach them. For example, one that we were watching this week was all about how the books in the bible were put together. Another was teaching about holiness. They’re pitched at the right level for kids and are lot’s of fun in the process. There’s a real (human) host, along with puppets and animations. My kids love them and they’ve certainly learnt a lot through watching them.
Memory Verse CD’s - Learning memory verses was a big part of my sunday school years. As a result I still know many of the great bible verse by heart. In order to instill this great bible knowledge in my kids we’ve bought some memory verse CD’s. The verses are set to music and the kids love them. The music isn’t the coolest around, but it’s getting the word of God into them. The ones we’ve used are by Australian singer Colin Buchanan.
4) We constantly talk about God and the bible – The bible, prayer and talk about Jesus is not restricted to the weekends. We’re literally constantly talking about how God would want us to approach various situations in life. We don’t leave the kids out of this conversation either. In doing this we’ve created an environment where the kids will freely ask questions that they have. One question my eight year old daughter asked was ‘who wrote they bible’? I loved it because it meant we could explain to her the amazing way that God brought together His word over thousands of years, with many different writers. She went to bed that night beaming with excitement about the word of God.
5) We Pray with our kids - Every night before the kids go to sleep, we pray. Often this is not a long time of prayer but it is consistent. We thank God for the day that’s been, we commit their sleep to Him and we make other requests known. We don’t do all the praying and as parents it’s been a wonderful experience to watch the kids developed in their own prayer lives.
We also pray at each meal time. This is important for us as a family as it is a time to thank God not only for the food and to bless it, but the routine of praying before each meal as taught the kids to put God first. They now don’t start eating until we’ve prayed, even when they’re eating alone.
These are just some of the things we’re doing to help our kids to grow up with a great biblical foundation. The word of God says in Proverbs 22:6;
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Question: How about you? What has your approach been to teaching your children the Bible? Have you used other methods or resources that I haven’t mentioned? Please add your thoughts in the comment section below.