Raising godly children is truly a challenging task for any parent today. With every facet of modern life seemingly gearing towards tearing families apart, how can we bond our family even stronger. How can we raise our children and instill in them godly values? With engaging them in a family Bible study, of course!
In Psalm 127:3-4, it says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” Now, knowing and believing that children are ‘a heritage from God’ is the first and basic foundation upon which parents must lay their parenting expectations. In other words, parents must understand the fundamental truth that children are a divine heritage.
God, who gave children as gifts, has also made a way for parents to know and understand how to take care of them. Every instruction for good living is given to us in the Bible. So, the primary means by which families can get their children exposed to and immersed in God’s word is through regular Bible studies for the whole family.
It is deeply heartwarming to come to an understanding that God is very much involved in how we take care of our children.
Table of Contents
- The Importance of a Family Bible Study
- 14 Tips for Planning a Family Bible Study
- Prepare a Reading Plan
- Consider the Length of the Bible Study
- Be Consistent with the Schedule
- Make it Interactive
- Be Natural
- Use Captivating Summaries
- Incorporate Music
- Use Object Lessons as Teaching Aid
- Encourage your Children to Memorize
- Train with Audio and Visual Cues
- Delegate Leadership Roles during Sessions
- Narrate it Like a Story
- Ask the Holy Spirit for Guidance
The Importance of a Family Bible Study
It is God’s commandment
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)
The verse above shows the necessity of active and regular parental involvement in the spiritual lives of children. It focuses on the commandments as sole text and standard that must be impressed on the heart of the children. In other words, engaging in Bible study is a commandment from God.
By the very act of engaging the family in Bible study, we demonstrate to our children one of the first principles of walking with God: obedience to his commands.
It is God’s way to bring up godly children
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.Proverbs 22:6
It is the God-ordained means by which parents can raise Godly children. The right and proper way to “start children off” is to introduce them early to God’s words and His ways.
It sets example in Christian witness
The purpose of God’s Kingdom is to spread the good news of the gospel to the whole world, and it must begin at home. By engaging in a family Bible study, we set an example of Christian witness and what it means to share our faith.
By feeding our family with God’s Word, we nourish them up and sustain their spiritual growth. In a very practical and even unspoken way, we also demonstrate what it really means to pursue after God with a spirit of faith, love, hope, and perseverance.
It bonds the family together
The saying “The family that prays together, stays together” is well-known, and this is a proven fact. Regular family Bible study with prayers is a veritable means of keeping our families united, keeping the fire of filial love and devotion burning and, above all, keeping each member of the family on the right track to godliness.
It opens the door to communication
When families engage in consistent Bible studies, the door is open for candid and deep communication with one another. The atmosphere of love and the spirit of candor allow younger ones to communicate and receive more detailed answers and teachings they would not understand or grasp in a larger fellowship setting outside the family group.
It helps in your child’s growth
You don’t have to wait for your child to be of age before you start a family Bible study. Instead, begin early as much as possible, and watch them grow in understanding of your teachings. Teaching them the word of God in their formative stages of child growth would help in making them feel secure and would ensure a lifelong impression of the truth of God’s words.
14 Tips for Planning a Family Bible Study
Now that we have seen the vital importance of the Bible and its teachings in building a stable and fruitful Christian home, here are some useful tips for planning a great family Bible study.
This can never be overemphasized. Prayers are powerful tools, especially when wielded in God’s will. Before every family Bible study sessions, pray earnestly that the word of God may sink in to your children, and also pray that God may guide you in leading it.
Prepare a Reading Plan
From the onset, you must choose a reading plan and format so your Bible study sessions pan out the way you want. Luckily, there are a lot of plans available to use.
By setting a reading plan, you and your family can have a guide of what book, chapter, or verses to read during your bible study session. It also keeps everyone on track with the reading, sets a clear goal and topic for each session, and opens discussions—especially when talking about how what was read could be applied to real life or when others have questions.
Meanwhile, choosing a format—whether it’s KJV, NIV, ESV, or others—would allow all of you to have a synchronized understanding of the word.
In everything we do, there can be no substitute for proper planning. Plan with your time and resources in mind, as well as the age and ability of your children. Take note of where each child may require special attention, and be ready to devote the needed time and attention.
Consider the Length of the Bible Study
It’s important to set how long your Bible study would last. Children generally have a short attention span, and a Bible study that takes up more than an hour would most definitely feel dragging for them. So, make sure to tailor your sessions to their age and understanding.
Be Consistent with the Schedule
As with any habit, setting a consistent schedule would help develop the significance of the whole exercise. Moreover, this would also create a mindset in your children that the time you allotted for Bible study is important and is equivalent to family time.
More than anything else, this demonstrates to your children that God and family is a priority, and that faithfulness persists in every situation.
Make it Interactive
Participatory learning is most ideal for children. Because children have short attention span, engage their senses at all levels while trying to communicate. And, make sure there is constant and continuous feedback to ensure adequate understanding each step of the way.
Allow yourself to be relaxed and natural. Use a simple and conversational tone when discussing the Bible. There is no need for you to act as if you’re a teacher. And you don’t have to set up the place like it’s a classroom either.
You would want the kids to be comfortable, so you should discuss about God in a normal, homely setting. You could do it in the living room, dining room, or even in the bedroom before bedtime.
Use Captivating Summaries
It is good to finish off with a summary that is captivating and easy to recall. Make sure that it includes the teaching you want to impart to everyone. This way, your kids would remember it through time, even as they grow up.
This could be an opening song or a quiet background music. Music lifts the spirit up and prepares the mind for God’s presence.
Use Object Lessons as Teaching Aid
This is all about taking an object your children are familiar with, and using it as a reference to connect to a biblical truth. This is a wonderful way to infuse the word of God into ordinary, everyday things and situations. Someday, children will grow to learn the extremely valuable act of discerning God’s perfect will in ordinary, everyday situations too.
Encourage your Children to Memorize
Memorizing is not only an exciting and fun thing to do, but it also ensures children to remain walking in righteousness long afterwards. Start having your kids memorize key verses. This way, they would remember and take God’s words to heart. Also, having your children be well-versed in scripture is a fascinating skill to have.
Train with Audio and Visual Cues
Create a cue word or sound that would alert your family to say the main point. This is also a very dynamic way to be interactive. Teach your kids how to listen intently for the cue and to speak out the main point when prompted at any given moment.
Delegate Leadership Roles during Sessions
This is an amazing way to take off pressure on parents, and ensure that children learn to be grounded spiritually at an early age. This can be useful in situations where parents may be away from home for periods of time.
Delegating children to lead your family Bible study times also helps them cultivate a sense of leadership and its responsibilities from an early age.
Narrate it Like a Story
Kids love hearing stories, and they would be much more interested if you narrate the Bible stories as if it is an adventure book. There are a lot of exciting, dramatic, and amazing stories in the Bible, and telling stories that include characters would make the kids motivated and engaged in listening.
Of course, it’s also important to let the children know that what they’re hearing isn’t just a mere story, but that it happened for real. So, although you’re narrating it like a story, make sure to inform them that it was based on real life.
Ask the Holy Spirit for Guidance
Home is really where the church begins, as such you are going to need all the help of the Holy Spirit to navigate your way through the noble challenge of raising godly children. Pray and seek God’s face and take time to listen, hear and follow His great guidance.
Maintaining a consistent family bible study can be an extremely difficult endeavor, but rest assured that the labor of love is well worth it. Every prayer and dependence on God is bound to bear fruit in due season if we persevere.
Parents should find deep encouragement in Hebrew 10:23-25:
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We hope this article enriches your understanding and your resolve on how to start and sustain an effective and family Bible study.
Remember, God is always faithful!