Teaching Bible: 4 Moms

moms of many manageWelcome to this weeks edition of 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage.   Today we’re talking about how we implement Bible teaching into our homes.

Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to read what they have to say Bible instruction:

KimC at Life in a Shoe
Connie at Smockity Frocks
Headmistress at The Common Room

Mark and I believe that learning and applying Bible is the most important task of education.

Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. ~Job 28:28

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.  ~Psalm 11:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. ~Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. ~Proverbs 15:33

then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

In Proverbs 3 God reveals to us some of the benefits of wisdom (the fear of the Lord).

  • Long life
  • Prosperity
  • Favor and a good name in the sight of God and men
  • Health to your body
  • Material wealth and increase
  • Riches and honor
  • Peace
  • Pleasant days
  • Happiness
  • Safety and security
  • The Lord’s presence

What more could anyone want in life? :)

God lays the responsibility for training children in wisdom (the fear and instruction of the Lord) at the feet of the parents.  Christian parents hold the key to all the material benefits listed in above.  We must work diligently to train our children to fear the Lord.

Let me be clear, our children are responsible for their actions and God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.  We can not somehow earn salvation (or blessing) for our selves or for our children by anything that we do or don’t do.   However, God promises blessing for covenant faithfulness and one of the commands that He gives to parents is to teach all the things that God has commanded to their children and to speak of them all day and in all situations.

Teaching Bible to our children

Teach by example

Children learn what they live.  If they see their parents praying and searching the Scriptures for all of their decisions they will learn to do likewise.  In our home we strive to base every decision,  action and attitude on the Word of God.  We fail miserably and often and when we do we follow God’s prescription for repentance.

One of our children recently came to us and said, “You do x, what is the biblical basis for that?”  He was right.  We hadn’t thought the decision all the way through and we immediately changed our actions.  It has been a blessing to watch our children respectfully challenge us to be even more biblical in our thinking!

Teach as you live

Talk with your children about the things of Christ.  We do this all day long, everyday.   We try to strain everything that happens through the sieve of God’s Word.  We work to remind each other that we should be praying without ceasing, speaking kindly to others and treating each other as more important than ourselves.

We share with them many of the struggles that we are facing, the triumphs we experience and the lessons that we learn.  Our children are a vital part of our lives and we teach them the ways of God as we live our lives alongside them.

Prioritize

One thing that helps us to keep our priorities straight is to consider our use of time. If our children are spending more time studying math or history than they are spending studying God’s Word then we reevaluate and restructure.

Give them godly heroes

Much of our children’s reading material focuses on heroes of the faith.  Biographies and autobiographies of godly men and women inspire and encourage our children to emulate their bravery and commitment to Christ.  The Voice of the Martyrs is a great resource for reading, prayer and action as these men and women are the heroes of the faith who are living in our world today.

Nurture Daily habits

Here are some specific things that we do daily to inculcate our children in the Word of God.

Daily Bible Reading

  1. Everyone who is able to read reads their Bible individually first thing each morning.  (We’re currently reading through the Bible in 90 Days with this plan.)
  2. We read a chapter of Proverbs at breakfast every morning.
  3. We read the Bible corporately when we sit down to start our “school” day.
  4. We read the Bible during Family Worship

Memorization

  1. Before our children are able to read we help them memorize the catechism.
  2. We spend time memorizing Scripture every morning at breakfast.  (We use this memorization system.)
  3. We sing the same hymn or a Psalm before each meal for a month and by that time everyone has it memorized.

Bible Study

  1. Each morning Mark reads aloud a  Bible study book to focus on issues that our family may need work on.  (We’ve worked through Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends twice and have found Bill Gothard’s Character Sketches to be a wonderful resource. )
  2. At the beginning of our school day we study and discuss the Bible together as a group.  We are currently using Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
  3. Each evening we have  Family Worship.

The Bible is not just a subject, it is our life.  It will take a lifetime to raise children who fear the Lord and only through God’s blessing will we ever reach the goal.  Praise the Lord that He is merciful and does not depend upon our feeble efforts.

Visit the other moms of many to how they teach the Bible in their homes:

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For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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12 Responses to Teaching Bible: 4 Moms
  1. Annie @ Beauty In The Surrender
    January 6, 2011 | 8:59 am

    Voice of the Martyrs is a great resource that we use as well. To my oldest, it really speaks to the faithfulness of believers in Christ. It is especially powerful for him to read accounts of children and families who suffer for the sake of the Lord.
    Great post! This series is by far one of my favorites and I am getting some great tips and resources!

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  2. Jamie (@va_grown)
    January 6, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    Thank you! This is a very helpful topic for me. I wasn’t “taught” the bible growing up and have often felt at a loss for how to teach our children.

    This might sound crazy, but I have found that it’s a huge teaching tool when disciplining, too. I have found it immensely challenging to force myself to apply actual bible verses to my discipline, but it has reaped amazing understanding with the kids. If they are put in time out, I use that time to go to my bible and find a verse that explains why they are being disciplined/what they did wrong, and a verse to explain what they should have done. I share/explain both calmly before they are excused from time out.

    This has been a major positive impact on my discipline! It’s very hard to be angry when you’re reading/meditating on the Word and how to apply it! And, it has also lead me to clarify, solidify (and correct!) my own position on the situation many time. And I’ve also seen their eyes light up with greater understanding and heartfelt repentance when they see it’s not just about “mommy being mad.”

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    This is excellent Jamie. Using times of correction to point the children to Christ through His Word is certainly one of those opportunities that God gives us. Thank you.

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  3. Ruth Adams
    January 6, 2011 | 10:21 pm

    I LOVE the idea of singing the same hymn before meals for one month! I really want to try that. BTW the crock pot chocolates were wonderful! Thank you for sharing that recipe. :)

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  4. Keli
    January 6, 2011 | 10:48 pm

    Good information! I can use some of this info at bible study this Sunday!

    Thanks,
    Keli

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  5. JennyB
    April 11, 2011 | 2:10 pm

    I would love to know how to incorporate some of the things you do with your family into my family. I have lots of good “excuses” and cop-outs of why not to, and have not done things like Bible reading and family worship in the past. My kids are 17, 14, 14, 12, and 9. It feels like it might be a waste of time to start so late in the game, but I know in my heart that it isn’t. I’m just not sure how to go about it so that they will be receptive. The 17 year old and one of the 14 year olds don’t live with us (they are my step kids). The other 14 year old, the 12 year old, and the 9 year old are my biological kids, my husband’s step kids. We just got married last summer. We are trying to become a more God-centered family, and it has been really difficult. The devil is fighting us all day, every day. LONG, LONG story. (If you want to know more, email me.) Just wondering if you have any suggestions for beginning things like a family devotion time or something that teenagers won’t balk at! Thanks! I’ve only been a reader for a couple of weeks. Found you via a friend with 7 kids on Facebook. I aspire to be a woman of excellence with a quiverfull of God-loving children! You are an inspiration to me!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    JennyB,

    May the Lord grant you and your husband wisdom as you seek to honor Him through your family.

    I suggest you pray, pray, pray, pray. Then follow your husband’s lead.

    What our family does may be very different from what God has called your family to do, so go to His word and ask Him for wisdom.

    Then remember that you are not responsible for your children’s reactions, rather you are responsible to “bring them (the children) up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”. Follow your husband’s leadership, do what God has called you to do and trust that He will change hearts and bring about His fruit in His season.

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  6. Irene
    February 21, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    Well, Kimberly, you know you’re blog has influence when something I read in my Bible today made me think of you! (:

    I had a coloring page of little boy Samuel listening to God in bed, so I thought it would be a good tool for teaching my kids about listening to God. Of course they were excited to hear what God actually said to Samuel. I didn’t remember and had to look it up. As I’m sure you know, it was a message of doom for Eli and his sons, because Eli had failed to reprove them, to keep them from blaspheming God! Reading backward, I see that he did try to correct their behavior, but apparently this was too little too late, or perhaps it was only motivated by their bad behavior becoming too public?

    Yikes! Now, we don’t have the same obligations as those priests, but my sense is that the principle of being responsible for overseeing those under our authority still stands. It was a good reminder for my kids and for me that disobeying God is serious business, especially for me in the sense that I have an important responsibility to teach my children EFFECTIVELY, at least as far as I am able.

    You often give Bible verses about child training, homeschooling, etc, so I just wanted to write you about this. I would love to hear your thoughts on Eli and his sons.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m not sure what Eli’s fatal flaw was, but agree that it is a warning to us. It’s interesting that we have many examples of (apparently) poor parenting in many of Israel’s leaders.

    The same can be said of many pastors in today’s society. The reputation of PK’s is poor. It seems that oftentimes pastors or other Christian workers are tempted to focus on their ministry while they neglect their family. I’m not sure, but it is certainly something to consider.

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  7. Robin
    July 31, 2012 | 11:38 pm

    How would you recommend teaching children the Bible at ages 3 and 1? Well not neccesarly the Bible but more like encouraging them to sit down and have personal time with the Lord? I heard an idea from John Piper that I liked but it’s out of my price range right now….getting each girl a cassete player(ok that’s old school. CD player) and playing the Bible on that for them and telling them that’s their personal time with the Lord.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Before our children are able to read independently, we read the Bible to them, they participate in family worship and memorize Scripture and catechism with the family.

    I’m curious as to what command/passage in Scripture leads you to believe that a one or three year old should be spending personal time with the Lord apart from someone older to direct them?

    May God bless as you seek to serve Him.

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    Robin Reply:

    No Scripture to back up a youngin’ spending personal time with the Lord. More of less just training them to have that time. Perhaps it would be best to wait until they’re a tad bit older and can actually read.

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