When it comes to studying the Bible, there are many resources, books, videos, conferences, sermons, and tips as to how you as a believer can study God’s word. When it comes to guides for studying the Bible with our children, there are again many resources, books, and tools telling how we can teach our children what they need to know the most. Though there are many resources that are excellent, which I will discuss in the near future, we can start by looking in the very Bible that we are trying to teach.
Here are ten tips for how you can have effective times of discipleship with your children:
- Read- It may seem obvious, but reading the Bible, even to babies who do not understand the words yet can show from birth that your family values and trusts the Bible for all things. We learn and teach about God from His Word.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.”
- Be consistent- when you are consistent with Bible reading and prayer, it becomes a habit in the life of your child and family. The idea is that you are sharing what God has done with your children in everything you do.
- Be constant- The model in Deuteronomy 6:5-7 is to share as you live life with your children. As you eat, at the store, in the car, even while playing and in entertainment. Our lives are to be spent talking about God, the Gospel, Jesus, the Bible, and how we should live.
- Be short- You don’t have to preach a sermon every night. God can work in a few short moments. Sometimes God uses one sentence to change a life.
- Ask Questions- Again, you don’t have to ask creative or complex questions. “How can you help others? What would you do if you were this Bible Character? How would you feel in their shoes?” These questions can lead to discussions on deeper topics and help children think through Biblical stories and lessons. Much of Jesus teaching was through asking others questions and then answering.
- Allow kids to ask questions- Kids will ask questions that are on their minds and hearts. Be willing to answer honestly and also be willing to admit that you don’t know all of the answers. The important thing it to use the Bible to answer questions and work through questions together.
- Pray, pray, pray- Pray for your children, pray with your children, have your children pray for others. You will never pray too much, God knows what we all need, and He will provide the change in our children.
- Don’t over complicate- When it comes to young children, the simplicity of “Jesus loves me this I know” is both simple enough to understand and deep enough to where we as adults do not truly understand the depth of God’s love for us.
- Trust God with results- Children are not saved by our teaching, but by the work of the Holy Spirit through His Word, the Bible. We are only the messenger and the tool that God has chosen to use. We plant seeds of faith, we water them, but God makes growth happen.
1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.”
- Learn as you go- Learn how your children react to the Bible and your conversations, but also learn the truths of the Bible yourself. You can teach better when you understand better.