So I’ve shared about why I believe teaching my kids the Bible is the most important thing in my last post here. Now let’s get real practical as to how to make it work. How do we actually make sure our kids know what’s in the Bible and, even more important, remember it!
Here are 10 simple steps on how to each your kids Bible scripture.
1. Keep it short
Keep the passages at one or two lines tops when they’re young (4 and under). Too much is just too difficult. Right now we’re only doing very short scriptures with maybe one or two longer one’s in there for my oldest.
2. Make it fun
If it’s not fun its a chore. We like to turn the verse into a song or a rap or a rhythmic reading. My kids absolutely love this and you’ll start to hear them singing or rapping scripture throughout the day, I love it. This way it’s fun to learn and easy to remember. If you’re not musical then here’s my favourite recording of kids songs of scripture Steve Green – Hide Em In Your Heart Vol 1. I listened to it and now my kids listen to it.
I also found this new fun and modern cd series: Seeds Family Worship: Power of Encouragement, Vol. 5
3. Be consistent
Find a time that works best for the family and stick with it. We do this at the breakfast table while we’re eating or in the car on the way to school if we don’t get to it at breakfast. I start by saying, “who remembers what Genesis 1:1 says?” And I’ll get a super excited “oh, oh , I do, I do” from my kids. I do this at least 5 times a week, but don’t beat yourself up if you forget every now and again. Just try to pick a time and stick to it.
4. Use one translation
Pick whatever translation you want, but stick to that same one. This just helps a whole bunch in memorization. I really wanted to use the Message Bile because it helps me understand the scripture so much more, but it’s quite long-winded. I use NIV as it’s modern and the scriptures are straight to the point.
5. Help them understand
Putting the verse into a real life situation makes them understand what they’re saying. Otherwise it’s just hot air and they’ll never get what or why they’re doing it. For example, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1” Did you know that God made the whole earth, the sky, the stars, trees and even us! These can be huge concepts but can seem simple to our kids. Be prepared for lots of great, funny, sweet and strange comments from your kids.
6. Have a reward
I’m not all that organised with our Bible verses so I don’t keep track on paper or have any fancy charts, but when they master a verse we go all out in showing our praise. In fact we take them round to every adult in the house (there’s 4 in ours) and show off their amazing achievements. They’ll get a sweet from one and a coin from another, but they pretty much feel awesome for their accomplishment. You can get really creative with this so the sky’s the limit, just make sure you can sustain it.
7. Take it reeeaaalllly slow
If your kids are as young as mine then you’ll need to really set the pace slow. Don’t overwhelm them with too much too fast. Let them set the pace. If they’re not getting it then move on to another one and come back to it at another time. I wanted to have a goal of teaching them a new scripture each week, but that was just too fast for everyone so now I wait until they can recall all the scriptures they’ve learned at the drop of a hat before I move on to the next.
8. Teach them where it is
I always make sure to make them memorize where the scripture is in the Bible. I tag on where it is at the end so it’s part of the scripture. I usually make this rhythmic to help them remember it. But this is where it can get tricky so be super patient and help them along as big numbers get tricky for the kids.
9. Start as young as you can
I would start teaching them scripture as soon as they can talk. They may be speaking babble back but trust me, they’re taking it all in and then by the time they’re 3 they can say it back to you perfectly. If you’re starting with older kids they should pick up on these quick, but you’ll need to make it a real habit if you want it to stick.
10. Put it into practice.
Remember the whole reason for teaching your kids the Bible. It’s to place the Word of God in their hearts so that it will be the first thing on their mouth, it’s to teach them how to apply the Bible to their every day lives. For example, my oldest went through a phase of back talk and moaning every time I asked her to do something so I taught her Philippians 2:14 “Do everything without complaining and arguing.” I put that on a label and put it on a jar so every time she back-talked or moaned she would have to give me a coin from her money-box and put it in that jar and then every Sunday she would put the money from that jar in the offering at church. That is ‘practising what you preach’.
If you’re thinking ‘where do I start?!?’ don’t worry, I’ve searched for a few easy references for you. I hope they help and inspire you to teach your kids the Bible!
Updated 21/11/13 Bible Games