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Do you long to teach your kids the Bible but don’t know where to start? Have you attempted to share a devotion with them and fell short of what you hoped it would be? Here are 7 tips on how to study the Bible as a family and engage your children in God’s Word.
Engage Your Children in God’s Word
As a mom and Children’s Pastor, I understand the challenge. I work with multiple age groups both at church and in my home. I need to appeal to a fourth grader while engaging the heart of a kindergartener. Attention spans differ greatly from one child to the next.
As parents, we are faced with many challenges as we lead our children spiritually.
Yet, now more than ever, our children need us to lead them in God’s ways. Where culture says God isn’t necessary, we must fight back with a resolve to disciple our children.
“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and His mighty wonders.” Psalm 78:4 (NLT)
We can make a difference in our homes. Our children can know God’s truths and walk victoriously in them every day. To see this happen, we must be intentional with training our children in God’s Word. Part of that is knowing how to to study the Bible as a family.
How To Study the Bible As A Family
But what if you don’t know how to study the Bible as a family? What if engaging our children in the Word seems daunting? How do we do this in a way that will grasp their attention and engage their hearts?
Here are seven ways to study the Bible as a family that are geared towards helping your kids grow spiritually.
Share the Adventure of God’s Story
The Bible is full of adventurous true stories involving unexpected twists and turns. Dig in and share these stories with your kids. Get them excited and eager to hear more.
Rather than focusing on key verses alone, find passages that involve people. Tell their story and demonstrate how it relates to God’s bigger story. As you share about a people group or situation, describe the context to your kids so they can get a better understanding of what’s happening.
Have them imagine what it would be like to be that person or to live in that time period.
Tip #1: Kids enjoy listening to stories. As you read the Bible, be sure to use inflection and enthusiasm. Pause and ask questions. Draw your kids into the story. Choose which verses you will read and which you will summarize.
Highlight a Key Verse
Choose a key verse that goes with the topic you’re studying. Take a few moments to repeat the verse together as a family. Set a goal to memorize the verse throughout the week.
Our kids need God’s Word ingrained in their hearts. Having verses tucked away will help them stand their ground in a culture of compromise.
Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
The more we can get our kids to memorize Scripture the better equipped they will be to stay on the path of righteousness. Not sure where to start?
Tip #2: Have fun with your family as you memorize your selected verse. Take turns saying it in a deep voice, then in a high-pitch voice. Shout it out and then whisper it.
Incorporate an Object Lesson
Jesus told stories called parables. He would use examples from everyday life that were familiar to those listening. Once He captured their attention, Jesus would connect them to God’s truth. He did it in a way they could understand and relate to.
That’s exactly what an object lesson does for children. Use objects your children are familiar with and help them connect the dots to a biblical truth.
For example, you can take a cell phone and talk about how we may call or text a friend, but they are not always available. Yet, God is always available. He is ready to listen anytime.
Tip #3: The Internet has plenty of free resources. Try searching “Kids Object Lesson on (insert topic).”
Engage the Senses
Involve your children in the learning process by engaging as many of their five senses as possible. You will find their attention span lasting longer as you incorporate their sense of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
Here’s an example of what that may look like: When talking about having faith as tiny as a mustard seed, place an actual mustard seed in your children’s hands (you can purchase this seed type from most grocer stores).
Have them look at it closely. Allow them to smell and taste it. You’ve just engaged four of their senses. And now they can wrap their minds around the size of faith Jesus refers to in Matthew 17:20.
Tip #4: Discover how you can engage at least two of your children’s senses as it relates to your topic. Gather necessary objects ahead of time.
Give a Clear One-Sentence Takeaway
As you prepare ahead of time, think about the main concept you want to teach your children. What do you want them to remember long after your time together ends? Now put that answer into an easy-to-remember sentence.
The catchier it sounds the easier it will be for them to remember. At the start of your study, clearly state this sentence and allow your kids to create motions to go with it. Make sure to repeat your main point sentence throughout. Repetition is the key to making it stick.
Tip #5: Create a cue word or sound that will alert your family to say the main point. Tell your kids to listen intently for the cue and to shout out the main point (with motions) at any given moment.
Close in a Time of Prayer
By this point, your family has enjoyed hands-on learning as you’ve studied God’s Word together. You’ve taught them how the message applies to their lives. Now give them time to respond.
God wants to do a work in their hearts. Spend a few moments in God’s presence and encourage your kids to talk with God.
This discipline involves talking and listening. Teach your kids how to listen to His voice. Instruct them to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
And most importantly, don’t rush this precious time. We tend to move quickly to the next thing, but it’s important for our kids to learn how to sit quietly before their Maker.
Tip #6: Play worship music quietly in the background. Pray together as a family or individually. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead this moment.
Ask the Holy Spirit to Guide You
Above all, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
John 16:13 (NLT) states, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth…”
The Holy Spirit has come, and He lives inside every believer. He will direct you as you lead your family. Following the Holy Spirit’s lead is the most important step we can take.
Tip #7: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal which passages your family should study for the season you’re in. Invite Him into every conversation. Ask Him to have His way in the hearts of each family member.
You Can Do This, Mama!
You have a special role to play in your children’s lives. Nobody can do it quite like you. God takes delight in you as you lead your kids spiritually.
Now that you know how to study the Bible as a family and engage your children in God’s Word, just jump in. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
My prayer is that these tips will be helpful to you and your family. You can choose to incorporate all seven tips or stick with just a few. Do what works best for your family.
The goal is to cultivate in your kids a love of God and His Word. As you walk faithfully with the Lord, He will give you the grace you need to disciple your children.
This post was written by Christin Hayes.
Christin Hayes is a wife and mom of four energetic kids. In addition to being a Children’s Pastor in Central Florida, she blogs about family life, parenting, and spiritual growth. On her blog, you will find real-life talk about the joys and mishaps of parenting in a no judgement zone. Her blog is a place to find encouragement and inspiration while being challenged to live a life of faith, love, and purpose every day.