As a parent, one of my main concerns is in doing the right things to help my son become an adult with a strong foundation in his faith. I want him to grow up knowing God’s character and who He is. It’s not just about him knowing Bible stories. I want him to have all the things in place that he will need to know that God is faithful, He is his provider, and He is who my son needs to turn to in difficult times. The time to begin those building blocks is now…when he is young enough to be able to watch my faith in action. And, that begins with getting a good understanding of the Bible. Join me in the journey of building Bible knowledge in our kids!
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Why is it important to build Bible knowledge in our kids?
There are many places in the Bible that tell us the benefits of knowing the scriptures. Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon all told their people to know the “law” or scriptures. If they did, life would go well for them. We know that life didn’t go flawlessly for these individuals. So, teaching our kids that the Bible knowledge these men had deepened their relationships with God and got them through some very scary times in their lives.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 tells us that “5 You must love him with all your heart, soul, and might. 6 And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. 7 You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning. 8 Tie them on your finger, wear them on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house!” (The Living Bible translation)
4 easy tips to building Bible knowledge in your kids
The key to implementing these tips is making them consistent, easy, and not intimidating. They need to become routine for your family so good habits are formed. It’s totally ok to purchase Bible studies (or find some online) to do with your kids. It’s also ok to just read and talk! Whatever you do, it has to be something that you are able to keep up with. It also has to be something that is enjoyable for both you and your kids. At the end of this article, I have some great resources for you to help in jump starting your new routine.
Tip 1: Make a short time each day to study God’s word with your child
- Read through a children’s Bible with one story per day. Read it in an excited manner. If you have older children, perhaps have them do the reading for the younger children to help engage all of them. Whatever version you are studying, make sure you use the actual Bible as the basis of the study. If you need a great Children’s Bible to start with, this is the one I used with my son. The stories are very accurate, but they are short and written so small children can understand them!
- For older children, work through a youth Bible. Find a youth Bible that includes natural application sections in it. Don’t feel like you have to read every verse or do the entire chapter. A good gauge for a child’s attention span is his/her age in minutes. Even for older kids, typically 10-15 minutes is the longest to go without stopping and talking about what you’re reading.
- Stop and talk! Talk about God’s character in the story…not just the events. Apply the story to your life and ask your child to apply it to his/her life.
- Building Bible knowledge in your kids isn’t just about the little ones. If you have adult children, ask them if they would be willing to work through a Bible study with you. Purchase a short topical study and send it to them. At the end of the week, call or FaceTime and talk through just a few questions that the study may have covered. Make the discussion time short so it is something that you look forward to and not something you dread because it takes too long. Call it your “Time with Mom or Time with Dad.” Make it a designated time of the week that is carved out for you and your adult child to spend together even if you may be far in distance.
Tip 2: Memorize scripture with them
- This doesn’t have to be weekly. It could be bi-weekly or even monthly. The goal is to get the word in them!
- Select a scripture that means something to them. Perhaps select a scripture that addresses something they may be struggling with at the time.
- Post the scripture in several common places where they will naturally see it and read it. Memorize it together so they see that it’s important to you, too.
- For children who can’t read yet, post it in pictures…kinda like a hieroglyphic. These images will help them memorize the order of the scripture.
- Review the scripture once every morning and once at bedtime. This could actually be part of the Bible study from Tip 1.
- If they don’t get every word right, don’t stress! The main point is your child putting God’s precepts into their memory.
- Find ways during the week to refer back to the scripture when it is natural to bring it into conversation.
- Kids don’t just learn by reading. They also learn by hearing and moving. Therefore, purchase some scriptures on CD they can sing. Have art time where they draw out what they are reading. Or, even act out your favorite Bible stories. You’ll be amazed at what they will learn!
- If you have adult children not in your home, send them the scripture you are memorizing and ask them to join you in committing scripture to memory. Send them encouraging notes every now then that use the scripture as a basis for conversation.
Tip 3: Allow your child to watch you in personal Bible study on a regular basis
- Take the time to focus on your own faith. If you need tips on how to do that, read my article “Faith as a Single Parent” to gain some additional ideas and encouragement in how to fill your own faith bucket.
- Kids learn by seeing. Therefore, they will more than likely do what they see you doing. As parents, we often close the door or do our Bible study when they aren’t around so we aren’t distracted by our kids. But, our kids benefit when they see us study the Bible. So, consider adding small “sessions” where you read your Bible where they can see the value you place on it.
- Talk about what you’re studying with your kids. Talk about what the Bible says, how it relates to anything you’re going through, and how it would relate to anything they are going through.
- Memorize scripture authentically in front of your children. I have a 3×5 spiral of index cards in my purse with scriptures I am memorizing. When we’re waiting in line somewhere or stopped in traffic, it’s great to pull out the spiral and repeat scriptures out loud. When you do that, your kids will see that memorizing scripture is something that happens naturally and doesn’t have to be at a time where you sit down to “study.”
Tip 4: Pray about what God wants you and your child to discover with each other
- God has a unique plan for you and your child. Take the time to stop and ask God what he wants you both to learn.
- Finally, listen for His answer, because He WILL answer. If you see the same scriptures coming up in your personal study, that may be something to study with your child. If your child keeps experiencing the same set of circumstances, think about doing a short Bible study on how someone in the Bible dealt with similar circumstances.
Bible Study Resources for Kids
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to “prep” lessons for my son. At the same time, I know how important it is, and I want it to be a priority for us in our home. So, I have a few resources listed below that may help you build Bible knowledge in your kids.
The Beginners Bible– I used this with my son when he was little. It really is an easy read that keeps their attention. The stories are short, but they are accurate. It also has great pictures for little eyes!
Words of Jesus for Guys– If you have a boy in the upper elementary to lower junior high years, this is GREAT! I absolutely love this resource because it is broken up into daily devotionals that are short for the low attention span of my very active son! There is scripture included with each devotional, and it gives context to the scripture in current circumstances. The bottom of each devotional is a “Living It” section that applies the scripture to a variety of situations boys in adolescence might find themselves in.
The Rizers music CDs of scripture. If you’re looking for songs that are designed to help your kiddo learn scripture, these are great! They are the actual scriptures put to upbeat, contemporary music! They offer a digital download of Meet the Rizers as well as a second CD of The Rizers Rise Up.
Get my free Scripture Memory for Children pack! This pack contains 12 common Bible verses for children memorize. The great part of this pack is that each verse contains pictures for children to associate with specific words in the verse, making it easier for them to remember the scripture. In addition, flash cards are provided to help incorporate games and visual images into their Bible knowledge! Sign up below to download a copy of the Scripture Memory for Children pack!
Final Thoughts about Building Bible Knowledge in our Kids
- It doesn’t matter what we study academically with our kids, what we model for them speaks louder! So, how we treat them, how we treat others, and how we live our lives will teach them more about God than anything we can read with them.
- Parenting is tough! There are going to be moments when we have to discipline, when we’re disappointed, and when we have to handle difficult decisions. In those times, how do WE live out God’s word? Use those moments to teach your child how YOU go to God’s word to find answers in those circumstances, and let them see you turning to the Bible to find answers.
- I’m always looking for great resources to use with my son, so please share anything you know about that you’ve used and love with your kids in the comments below!