As parents, one of the great privileges we have is teaching God’s Word to our children. They soak up so much information in their early years! We can use this time to build a foundation in Scripture for them. I’ve found that the Bible verses I memorized as a child come to mind so much more easily than those I’ve learned in later years!
In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, we’re instructed to diligently teach God’s Word to our children. We’re to do it constantly and give it careful attention. Having a plan makes it more likely that this will happen.
We can be grateful for those teachable moments that present themselves with no preparation on our part. But for all those other times, here are seven tips you might find helpful. (Now that our children are almost grown, I can only say that I wish I’d done these even more!)
1. Play scripture songs.
Make a playlist on your phone, stream children’s songs through a speaker, or just put in a good ol’ cd! When our girls were younger, a couple that we had on repeat were Hide ‘Em in Your Heart Volumes 1 and 2 as well as Cedarmont Kids Bible Songs.
Turn the music on while everyone is getting ready in the morning or while you’re in the car together. Or play it softly in their bedroom as they’re falling asleep.
2. Practice Bible memory verses together.
If your child is learning verses for school or church, take a couple of minutes after a particular meal or at another designated time to have them say the verse to you. You could also write them on 3×5 cards to practice while you’re waiting for an appointment or something else to start. Or keep verse cards in the car and use travel time to practice.
3. Have a scheduled family devotional time.
We had periods of our girls’ lives when we were fairly consistent with this, and at other times, not so much. It worked best to have ours on weeknights right after supper while we were all still at the table.
Family devotions don’t have to be long and drawn out. They can range from reading and commenting on a Bible passage to reading a missionary biography or other book with character-building stories. The Miller Family series was our favorite when the girls were younger.
4. Read a brief Bible story or devotional book together at bedtime.
You can find children’s devotional books for almost every age group. We read through several different Bible storybooks by just reading a small portion to our daughters every night at bedtime. Whether for our children or us, what better way to close our day than by focusing on God’s Word.
5. Connect with your child over what they learned at church.
During the drive home from church on Sundays, we used to ask our girls what they’d learned about in Sunday School and children’s church. When one of our daughters was around 4 years old, she actually lied to us about what the lesson had been about! I saw the paper she’d completed in children’s church, and it was nothing close to what she said they’d learned. I checked with the teacher later, and sure enough, our daughter just made something up. It just struck me as strange that that was our daughter chose to lie about!
Hopefully your conversations with your children about what they learned at church will go more smoothly than that one did!
6. Use Bible verses as you deal with your children and their life situations.
When situations arise that your child needs help resolving, seek to use Bible verses to help them figure out what to do. Whether it’s a conflict with a friend or a need for peace or a bad habit for them to conquer, there’s a Bible verse that addresses it. This also encourages us to know the Bible ourselves so we can direct them to appropriate verses.
7. Let your children see you having your own personal time with the Lord.
You know the old saying, “More is caught than taught.” Allow your children to see you reading your Bible and hear you praying or memorizing Scripture for yourself.
Some of these opportunities have passed for me since our daughters are in their late teens. They’re not around nearly as much, and my bedtime is now way earlier than theirs! So from this side of things, let me say that you will never regret the time you spend helping your children learn more about God and His Word.
If you have additional tips to add to this list, I’d love to hear them!