Raising children in our complex world requires us as parents to live with intentionality. My children are now grown (whatever that means), but my wife and I did some things when they were younger that helped develop in them a desire to read and study the Bible. Here are three simple things we did that made a big difference:
1.We showed them.
We let them catch us doing Bible study. There were times my wife or I would do our personal Bible study at the kitchen table just so they could see us do it. This was an indirect way of letting them know it was important. We could not expect them to do something we did not do. The only way we found for them to know we studied the Bible was to let them see us doing it.
We also set aside time in our week to do some type of Bible activity as a family. It was not a long, drawn out time, nor was it complex. I usually read a Bible passage and then asked two questions about what I read. When guests stayed at the house, we still took the time to do this simple activity.
2. We took them (and stayed).
We made sure they were involved in a regular Bible study group with others their age. We also made sure they knew we were in a Bible study group as well. We all carried our Bibles with us.
Note to ministers: You can be involved in a Bible study group as well. You can teach, substitute, or attend a group or groups. If there is not a worship service going on at the same time as the Bible study groups, there really is no reason for you to miss out on being involved in a regular Bible study group.
3. We asked them.
We made it a point to ask them about what they learned. Sure, I wanted them to enjoy being in a Bible study group, but I was more concerned about them learning something. We used the Take Home pages sent home with them to give us clues about what to ask them. If the teacher didn’t send anything home, we asked their teacher about the lesson for the day. This was a subtle way of communicating what we expected. We still ask our kids about what they are reading or studying in their Bibles. That gives them the opportunity to ask us the same question, keeping us accountable as well!
These three things were effective for us. I can’t guarantee that these things will make your kid a life-long Bible student. I can say with a great deal of certainty that failing to do something intentional like these actions above will all but guarantee biblical ignorance for your kid.
What actions are you taking to encourage your kids to develop a love for the Bible and a desire to read and study it?