Home...the place God designed for all family Bible study to begin and be nurtured. Yes, He has also given us the church as a larger family unit which compliments and confirms what is being taught at home, but the family itself has been ordained by God as the consistent environment for everyday spiritual growth.
There is nothing more important that we can teach our children than the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how much God loves each of us! Sports, academics, music abilities, and so many other things are great...but none of those will give them life abundant and life eternally.
The Bible encourages us as families over and over to teach God's Truth to our children. A couple of my favorite Bible verses that speak of this are:
"Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
"The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law."
Everyday God has placed "Godprints" all around us. We can teach our children that one way He reveals Himself is through the world He has created. As we connect everyday objects with the Bible, we are teaching our children to see and experience God's presence all around them.
One great way to do this is through object lessons.
Even before I was a school librarian I loved books! I was one of those parents that read to their kids at a very young age, and I think I have enjoyed it even more than them!
Jesus knew how a story can help us remember spiritual truths. He used many stories and parables during His teaching!
You may not have many children's books around your house, but stories are found everywhere! Tell a story from your past of how God has worked in your life. A true story from your own life or a Christian biography can speak louder than anything from another source...other than the Bible of course! These open up wonderful family Bible study discussions and help our children connect the reality of the Bible and serving Jesus.
With my husband being a pastor, I have heard many sermon illustrations or inspirational stories that teach wonderful truths from God's Word. Stories like the "Duck & the Devil" - a lesson on forgiveness or "The Cracked Pot" that goes along with 2 Corinthians 4:7.
When our children were young we would have Family Worship or Family Time Devotions together. These were a little more structured and were tailored to hold the attention of various ages since we had four kiddos in a window of an eight year span.
Right now we are working on a series called "Layered Lessons" for Family Bible study times that will have different activities and ideas to choose for various ages so that everyone in the family will learn and grow in Jesus. Check back soon for these!
What a fun challenge to memorize Bible verses with our children and setting an example for them! This can become a part of your family Bible study times together or an occasional addition. Make it fun by using score keeping or a chart to show everyone working together as a team in your family or play a game of quoting parts of a verse to each other and the other responding with the rest during the day!
Our families are worth the time and effort to teach our kids about Jesus! Someone once said:
"If we don't teach our children to follow Jesus, the world will teach them not to."
The battle has been waged, the war is on for our families...Jesus has won the victory, but it is up to us to stand firm and lead our children.