Immediately after God gave us the Ten Commandments He said to parents and grandparents, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). In other words God told us to constantly teach our children about the Bible. When Jesus was making disciples, He used this very approach to teach the twelve. What are some practical ways to obey the Lord in teaching your children?
Great news! Today we have all kinds of resources available to help us teach. In this article I will detail some options for you to consider. Take the opportunity to explore the vast resources that are available. Here is my top ten list:
1. Read the Bible aloud to your children daily. The Holy Bible is the most important resource for your family. Today you can find the Bible in a book, on your computer, on an audio recording or on video. You can buy versions for young children (although we recommend starting early with the real thing). Reading God’s word aloud daily should be a staple in every family’s diet. Read through entire books of the Bible. This is the best way to get sound knowledge of the Bible. Since you will be learning everything that is in scripture, your lives will become better aligned with His truth.
2. Listen to sermons and Bible teaching on audio recordings and videos. One way to bring interesting Bible teachers into your home is to select a teacher or preacher on audio recordings or videos. Encourage your family members to take notes and then follow up the teaching with a discussion about the topic.
3. Enjoy God-glorifying audio and video entertainment. Today there is plenty of God-glorifying video and audio entertainment available. Generally speaking, entertainment helps no one. But making God-honoring selections can be edifying to your family and can give you ideas for ministry. Carefully select media that will reinforce biblical values. Talk with your children about the truths revealed in your selections.
4. Listen to Christian music in the car and home. No matter what style of music you enjoy, it is available with uplifting and family-safe Christian lyrics. Music can be a powerful medium for teaching. Many songs and hymns have great theology that will help your children learn.
5. Read aloud books with biblical truths. One of the greatest gifts you can give to your children is the gift of reading. We have laughed and cried as we have read interesting books with biblical themes. Teach your children to read early in life, and keep a selection of biblically-based literature in your home. Be sure to carefully screen and select books; even books that come from the Christian bookstore. This has been one of the most rewarding activities we have done as a family!
6. Whether you home school or not, attend a local home school convention. You will find scores of biblically-based resources at these events and workshops that will encourage and equip you to teach. You will also find other parents who are teaching their children; these parents can become a network of fellowship, ideas and encouragement.
7. Use scripture memory books/catechisms. Using these tools will help you to instill knowledge of scripture and a basic understanding of biblical themes. Doing this can go a long way with developing a biblical worldview in your children.
8. Instill the practice of a quiet time with your children. Teach your children to read their Bibles daily and to pray, one-on-one with the Lord. A simple acronym for them to remember for prayer is ACTS:
- Adoration- Praising God for who He is.
- Confession- Confessing sinful thoughts, words, actions, and omissions.
- Thanksgiving- Thanking God for His blessings.
- Supplication- Praying for others and ourselves.
As your children grow older, teach them how to use other resources in Bible study.
9. Have daily family worship/devotions. This excellent practice can be used wherever you are, and at any time during the day. This is the practice of singing spiritual songs, reading scripture and praying as a family. Keep a Bible in your car and at home. Our family takes turns selecting a hymn or praise song. Then we will read a chapter of the Bible; sometimes we will have a discussion or teaching about what we have read. Then we pray for others and for one another. There are also excellent devotionals available for teaching God’s word to children. A devotional can help you bring topical studies to the family.
10. Tell stories to your children. Story telling is a very helpful skill to develop. Practice makes perfect; give your children this incredible gift! You can tell stories in your home or when you are on outings and vacations. Jesus was a master at telling stories; He was constantly finding things to talk about when He and His disciples traveled and spent time outdoors. He talked about water, trees, the wind, sand, rocks, fruit, fish, birds, sheep, pigs and on and on. Follow his example as you are in your home, riding in your car or enjoying nature. Tell the same stories He told, or make up your own, but point to scriptural truths. You can also get Bible stories in books and videos for children. Telling and reading stories will instill a love for learning in your children, and they will never forget these delightful memories with you.
The gift of teaching is a great blessing to the student and to the teacher. You will grow in ways you never imagined and your family will grow along with you. Do what Jesus did and enjoy the blessings of your children!