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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."
Taking time for family Bible study not only strengthens our individual spiritual lives, but it also brings us closer together as we draw closer to God...it strengthens our family!
You don't have to be a Bible expert or theologian to sit down with the Bible and learn together as a family, and it doesn't take a lot of time like you may think. There are already "family times" within our day to teach our kids about Jesus.
Family Bible study can take place at mealtime, on-the-go time, bedtime, and even playtime! Be creative with sharing God's Word with your family. In this way children are able to see that is not just a formal time where we sit down for a few minutes with the Bible and then walk away, but it's meant to be a living part of our lives.
These "Bible-Seeker" lessons are perfect for family devotion time. They begin with a short devotion lesson with Bible verses that highlight a certain object such as water, light, sheep, GPS, etc. Each includes fun interactive Bible activities to do together as a family and remember what God's Word teaches.
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.
We teach our kids it is important to brush their teeth. We can use this same time to teach them the importance of the words that come out of their mouth and how we need to think before we speak.
There are so many opportunities to teach God's truth as we go...as we sit in our house, as we walk by the way, as we rise up and lie down. (Deuteronomy 6)
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!
One of my favorite Apps on my iPhone and iPad is the YouVersion Bible App. Not only do I then have multiple versions of the Bible at my fingertips but also a huge selection of Christian devotional plans to take with me wherever I go!
But not only do they have Christian devotions for me, they also have devotional plans for kids which are ideal to have some on-the-go family devotion time anywhere and anytime - right before their little league game, on the drive to school, during wait time at the doctor's, etc.!
Super Hero Lessons
These kids Bible lessons use the familiarity and fun of comic heroes along with truths from God's Word to help kids learn how they can stand firm and be a hero for God! These can be printed for your elementary or preteen age child to read and do on their own also.
The world wants to mold and conform us. When we don't feel like we fit the "norm", we feel left out, invaluable, unloved and down right "weird"! These identity lessons will help your kids see just how incredible they are!
Armor of God
These 10 free Bible lessons based on Ephesians 6 include full lesson plans, activities and more your family will love!
One of my neighbors asked me about a Bible study for her and her preteen daughter to do together; so I began looking. One of the most creative ones I have found is by Annie Pajcic @ThouArtExalted.com. It's called "Journal with Me: Mother/Daughter Devotional Study on Philippians 4:4-9," and she offers the first lesson FREE! They also offer a free devotional app designed for girls/teens which could be used to begin your own mother-daughter Bible study journaling using this first lesson as a pattern.
There are several things that I love about journaling family Bible study together:
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:
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.
Special note: We do preview the websites to which we link, but are unable to peruse them completely. We try to check others' faith statements and make sure they do profess Jesus Christ as God's Son and salvation is found only in Him. It must, however, be your responsibility to personally dig into God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to be your first and final teacher on all subjects.
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