Heart Pondering

The ponderings of one Christ-following mom on raising preschoolers

Starting kids on Scripture March 6, 2009

Filed under: Bible — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 11:33 pm

We’ve all heard the saying “faith is caught, not taught,” and there’s a good deal of truth in this. How we live  matters enormously, and our children will follow our example and absorb many of our values just by living with us.   But surely we parents can’t expect it all to be caught.

God told the Israelites to “fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…; teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut 11:18-19). Exposing our children to God’s truths and ways from his Word must be a regular practice of childrearing, started early and practiced regularly.  I’ve encountered some bar-raising thinking on teaching our the kids the Bible in a compelling blog post and an edifying sermon I heard.

I realized that the children’s Bible we were reading with our son had been a good start but was too elementary for him at age 3 1/4.  It featured the classic Sunday School stories in basic form but that was it.  No depth, not much to begin expanding his vision of God.  So we moved onto to a more comprehensive children’s Bible, and while much of it is still a bit old for him, he’s being exposed to much more now and having the opportunity to begin to understand.  The Bible (written for kids 4 – 8 years) has elicited starter discussions between us about real issues that he needs to understand from a biblical worldview, like truth, sin, and death.  Even simple vocab words that he’s not yet familiar with have arisen, such as “wife” and “slave.” It’s been helpful.

I’m reading it through with him sequentially, one story a day, and I plan to go back and start again at the beginning when we’re done – perhaps two or three months from now.  And the next time around, he’ll pick up more since 1) a foundation will have been laid, and 2) he’ll be older and have a larger comprehension.

The amazing thing about the Bible is that it’s instructive and penetrating for its readers no matter what their age, comprehension level, or background – this is the promise of Heb 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” What a comfort to a parent seeking to train her child in the Word — I need only be faithful to read, explain, and talk it through, and I can trust God to use that and work through it in my son.

In the sermon linked above (or perhaps another in that 4-part series from Proverbs), Mark Driscoll says that a mom is her children’s theologian, unpacking a biblical worldview to her kids throughout the day.  She should know her Bible and should seek normal, daily-life opportunities to insert biblical truth and draw parallels.  This, after all, is really what Deut 11:18-19 is all about…


2 Responses to “Starting kids on Scripture”

  1. Megan Jukes Says:

    This is great! Funny – I was thinking when you sent the last email asking for blog suggestions, that you should start your own … you have a lot in you that many will benefit from!

    Those verses from Deuteronomy live with me too and I love Mark Driscoll’s encouragement re. “teachable moments” (was that the sermon you listened too?). Something that I have been trying to teach my girls is how the whole of scripture points to Jesus … so more than just teaching about Noah or Abraham (or whatever), we look at what they tell us about Jesus and God’s redemptive plan for this world. We bought ‘The Jesus Storybook Bible’ not so long ago, which I love as it really is all about Jesus and it gives opportunity to look at some of those well told stories from a different angle! Illustrations are fab too!!

    Anyway – I am very happy you are doing this and I’ll certainly be reading!

  2. Molly Says:

    Thanks Susan! I’m looking forward to reading and benefitting again from your thoughtful, organized words! I’ll also try to comment and share some resources. I’m already eating up the info on your links/blogroll!

    The main reading I’ve done this fall in the parent/family department (and hope to be re-reading soon with Adam) is Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper (wife of John Piper). It’s a free download on the Desiring God website in the Resource Library. Tons of great ideas. True to form, the Pipers set the bar high but that’s why I love them!

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