Teaching your kids about God is a big responsibility—but it doesn't have to be intimidating. Here are some of our best tips for studying the Bible with your children.
20 May, 2020
Introducing your children to the Bible is one of the best ways to teach them about God. But often, our seemingly flawless plans for precocious spiritual growth don't quite match reality.
With notoriously short attention spans, children may struggle to stay engaged long-term. Making the Bible a regular part of their routine can sometimes feel like an impossible task.
Whether you're looking at introducing the Bible to your children for the first time or you just can't seem to find a method that works, we hope you find these tips helpful and encouraging.
Before even opening the Bible, it's important to remember that God is in control, and that His plan is always going to be greater than our own.
Take some time to pray alone or with your spouse before starting any kind of Bible time with your kids, asking God for wisdom, patience, and guidance through the process.
Praying with your children before you start is also a great way to ready their minds and hearts to learn more about God.
Depending on your child's age and level of understanding, reading can be the most challenging part of studying the Bible.
For younger children, a great way to start is with biblical picture books—simply looking at the pictures and reading a simplified story is a great way to introduce the Bible to young minds.
For older children, you could try reading over a couple of verses, or working through a chapter at a time. You could also search for Bible reading plans online or through the YouVersion Bible app and allow them to choose a reading plan that appeals to them—and then help them stick to it!
Either way, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Don't be afriad to test different options and stick with whichever method works the best for your family.
Another great way for your children to learn Bible stories is to watch them (alongside reading, of course).
There are so many great TV shows and web series out there that bring the stories to life. From Veggie Tales to The Chosen—there's something out there for every age group.
The wonderful Colin Buchanan has also produced some amazing kids' resources for you. Click here to check them out!
If there's one way to keep kids interested in something, it's by making it fun!
Integrating the Bible into a fun activity that your child already loves is one of the best ways to make learning about God an enjoyable experience.
If they like to play pretend, you could act out a story with their toys. If they enjoy board games, you could try Bible trivia or playing charades with the Bible characters they're familiar with.
While repetition is the best way to build a habit, it's also helpful to tailor your Bible time each day depending on how your child is feeling—after all, we want them to love God's Word, not dread it.
If you feel like they're too restless to sit down and read, you could try singing and dancing to worship music together. If they're feeling overwhelmed or tired, simply praying before bed can make the world of difference.
No matter what, it's important to have patience and remain attentive to their feelings.
In all that you do, remember to lead by example. If you want to teach your children to love God's Word, it's important that you love God's Word too.
Your children look up to you (whether they admit it or not) and notice a lot more than you think they do. For them, seeing you read the Bible and hearing you pray will show them just how important God is to you.
"Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate." —Anonymous
All in all, encouraging your kids in their relationship with Jesus takes a lot of time and patience. Even though there will likely be difficult moments, don't forget that He is right there with you.
Words by Claire Ince
Photos by Ryan Johnson, Ben Adams and Galia Oropeza
Answer Hunger With Hope
345 million people are facing acute food insecurity. You can answer hunger with hope.