Okay, now we know why- so HOW do we do it?
1. First of all, let your child’s need areas direct your teaching.
If you see a need/struggle in your child (and you’ll see plenty)-have them learn verses that deal with that need. We have a handout called Identifying and Dealing with Offenses, which lists 32 negative types of behavior and the corresponding positive behavior. Our job is to direct our kids to learn to make wise decisions by showing them the consequences from Scripture by cultivating the wrong attitudes in our lives as opposed to the blessings God bestows when we make wise choices.
If they struggle with teasing, whining, unkindness, pride, anger, etc. we have them learn verses that deal with that problem.
For instance take the angry man. It is normal and natural to respond in anger when someone treats you wrongly. However, whatever you cultivate is what you will become.
We tried to show our kids from Scripture, the end of the angry man as well as the blessings on the man who practices self-control. We actually created a Bible study based on this list, called Growing in Wisdom. Scripture addresses every problem your kids will ever struggle with. Kids do not automatically make wise choices and do the right thing. They need our guidance in helping them see what the right choice is and walking them through it. We can’t just say, “ Be diligent, use initiative”, etc. and expect them to know what we’re talking about. They have to understand it before they will choose rightly. It is, in fact, God’s Word that changes behavior in kids. It won’t happen overnight, but as they learn the Word and meditate on it, it will eventually work it’s way from their head, into their heart and then into their everyday life.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
As we fill our minds with God’s thoughts, exchanging our natural thoughts for God’s thoughts we learn to cultivate godly character in our lives.
2. Schedule in time to intentionally teach Scripture
• Early on I began to use flashcards to teach the kids verses. There were some verses EVERYONE needed and some were directed to problem areas in each one’s life. We just said one verse each day several times and reviewed previously learned verses too. This was to help them memorize the Word. Sometimes I’d apply it to a situation-“IF you are tempted to be afraid” THEN-On the back was the verse to learn. As new needs developed in my kids I made more sets of flashcards directed at teaching them the Scriptures they needed to learn. We offer many of those sets on our website.
• From the time your children are babies, it’s a good practice to read daily Bible stories so they are familiar with the Word and even reading Scripture to them. We play Scripture CD’s at naptime and bedtime for all ages and it’s been an incredibly effective way to hide the Word in our hearts, mom and dad included.
• Another great way is passages of Scripture put to song.
Thy Word Creations offers personalized books to go with their CD’s of Scripture songs to help kids remember direct words of Scripture. We used these with our little ones.
• We are not our own, we are bought with a price:
Perhaps one of the earliest tools we created to teach them this principle was what we called the Head to Foot Bible Verse Board. We took a picture of our child, had it blown up to poster size, cut them out of the picture and attached their picture to a poster sized piece of paper. I then looked up verses of how to use the various parts of their bodies for the Lord and attached these verses to the same paper the picture was attached to. The idea behind this was to illustrate Romans 12:1-
“ I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy , acceptable unto
God, which is your reasonable service.”
-which we wrote on the top of the sheet of paper, explaining how our bodies are a temple of God to be consecrated for His purposes. We then placed it in a poster sized frame and hung it in their bedroom. Each night before bed or naptime I would let the child choose a different part of the body and we would review the verse associated with it.
• KNEE- Ephesians 3:14 “For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
• EYE- Proverbs 4:25 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” (Here is a reminder to control what we look at and to use our eyes to honor the Lord and His ways and not to be distracted with things of the world. )
• HAND- Proverbs 10:4 “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand, but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” (Hence an admonition to be diligent in all that we do for God’s glory)
• FEET- Proverbs 4:27 or Ephesians 6:15
• The idea behind this was to instruct our child that they were not here to make it a goal to amuse or please themselves necessarily, but to submit their body to God’s purposes and His ways.
• I Peter 5:5 in one version of the Bible instructs us to wear the overalls of humility in serving one another. For this reason, I always took their picture while they were wearing overalls and told them this was to be their attitude to others- to put on their overalls of humility and defer to the other person’s wishes whenever possible.
• For handwriting practice we had our kids write out Bible verses which we would then frame and hang in prominent places in the house. Again, we chose verses they needed to help them with current struggles they were experiencing.
• As our kids grew older, we had them learn whole passages from Scripture that dealt with practical areas we all need to know. Here’s a few just for starters:
• How to Deal with Temptation – James 1
• Conquering Fears- Psalm 91
• Overcoming Worry- Philippians 4
• Controlling the Tongue – James 4
• Dealing with Suffering- I Peter 3
• Having proper values- Colossians 3
Hope this gives you some ideas. We did lots of other things to get the Word before our child’s eyes. I will share more next week.