Three things that God has given to every Christian are His Son (to die for us), His Spirit (to live within us), and His Word (to teach and direct us).
All three are vitally important to our walk with God, and every believer, including children, should have a love and appreciation for each of these things. In today’s post, I’d like to focus on the importance of our love for God’s Word, and ways that we can encourage our kids to fall in love with it as well.
As parents, we never want the Bible to just become another book on the shelf, or simply a family tradition to our kids. We want them to fall in love with it. But in order for that to happen, we must keep the Bible at the forefront of our family and our everyday lives, so our love for it grows deeper as time passes.
If you agree, here are 5 practical ways to help you cultivate a love for God’s Word in your children. Which of these 5 are you already doing and which ones can you implement into your home starting today?
1. Start teaching them love and respect for the Bible at as young an age as possible
From the time a child is born, they are old enough for mom and dad to read the Bible to them. At the ages of 2+, they can even understand that we love the Bible by holding it and hugging it. Teach your children from the youngest ages songs about the Word of God. Tell them Bible stories with an open Bible in hand, and even allow them to hold it themselves. Even if your children are already past these early years, the best time to start or continue developing a love for God’s Word is now.
2. Make the Bible a central part of your family’s daily life and routine
Here are some ideas you might consider trying:
- Daily family verse – Read it together in the morning, memorize it for the day or the week, use it as a theme for family devotions.
- Nightly devotions – We’ve found personally that one of the greatest ways to instill the Word of God within the hearts of our children is to sit together in the living room with an open Bible and an open conversation about a story, a principle, or a verse. (Here’s A Busy Parent’s Guide to Doing Family Devotions that will help.)
- Posted Scriptures – Deuteronomy 6:9 reminds us as parents of the importance of having Scripture “written on the posts of our house”. Make the words of Scripture a visible centerpiece throughout your home. Whether this is by way of take-home papers from church, handwritten verses from your kids, or framed scriptures on your walls, make the word of God a central part of your home by making it visible!
3. Memorize the Bible together as a family
Most parents want their children to memorize the Scriptures, but are we willing to memorize the scriptures ourselves? Nothing will motivate your children to hide God’s Word in their heart more than when you are willing not just to help them, but to memorize with them. When they have to memorize scripture for school or church, don’t just expect it of them, exemplify it for them! I was recently encouraged by a friends’ family who memorized an entire chapter of the Bible together. (And it wasn’t even Psalm 117. Lol.)
4. Make the Bible come alive to your kids!
I love what Keith Ferrin has to say about this… “Read the Bible like you’re reading Curious George to a five-year-old. Change the volume. Change the pace. Give the characters voices. After all, they didn’t sound like the monotone voice you are reading with.”
Teach your kids that the Bible is much more than just something to study and read, but something to enjoy. Get into it when you read it, act it out with character roles, have fun!
5. Treat the Bible like the living book that it is that has the power to help us daily
Talk to your kids regularly about what God is teaching you through the Bible. Let them know how it is shaping your daily decisions and guiding your every step. When you children have decisions to make for themselves, rather than giving them answers, give them scriptures to look up and read, and guide them into practicing practical Christian living by making choices based upon what they read.
Too often, many times we inadvertently teaching our kids to come to us, or run to the pastor every time they need answers or wisdom for life decisions. May we first point them to the wisdom of the Word of God, realizing that God has given our children the same Holy Spirit that He has given to us to guide them into all truth.
6. Set the example
If our kids don’t see us pick up the Bible between Sundays, they’re probably not going to do it themselves, or be convinced that it’s really the life-changing book worth that we claim it is. Actions speak louder than words. When our kids see us reading the Bible, talking to them about the Bible during the week, and showing them Scriptures that apply to their daily lives, they can’t help but learn to love the Bible even more.
For me personally, I often enjoy reading my Bible in the mornings on my phone or iPad. However, when I know that my morning devotion time will intersect with the time my children wake up and start their day, I choose to read from my hard copy of the scriptures. It’s a simple, yet intentional choice, because the first time my kids see me is often when I’m sitting at the kitchen table spending time with God, and I want that that potential life-long impression upon their heart to far outweigh my convenience and preference to use a device. It may seem trivial, but it’s still one more way to show them my love for the Word of God.
What can you do starting today to set the example for your kids in this area of loving God’s Word?
If you are serious about passing down a love for God’s Word to your children and would like to dive deeper into how to do it, I’d strongly encourage you to get a copy of Keith Ferrin’s book, Like Ice Cream. (You can even get the first 1/3 of the book free at this link.) It’s an easy read with a great family message. I loved reading it, and know you will too!
“Passing down a love for Scripture ought to be as easy as passing down a love for ice cream.” – Keith Ferrin
I love that! In the book, he shares practical ways for how to do just that. It’s not as hard as we often think. It simply requires that we be intentional.
May these few ideas help us and our kids to fall in love even more with God’s Word, the Bible.
- Pssst… We purchased new Bibles for our kids for Christmas (Shhh… don’t tell) What better way to help them fall in love with the Bible than to give them a nice new copy to call their own, right? If you’d like to give your kids a really nice, yet inexpensive kid-friendly Bible for Christmas, check out these Kids Study Bibles all between $12-$17.