Can you imagine sitting in your own living room, having a conversation with your kids and your spouse about the Bible, talking about the doctrine, understanding how it applies to your life and doing it all together. Today’s episode of God, fearing kids and the parents who raise them is some practical suggestions for teaching scripture to your family.
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE
A PRACTICAL DEMONSTRATION OF HOW TO LEAD YOUR FAMILY IN BIBLE STUDY DURING FAMILY TIME
The topic we discuss on this episode is a subset of the last episode (episode 16) where we talked about our practice of Family Time and how we went about it. If you haven’t listened to that conversation, you should do so to get the entire context for this one.
The subset inside of that we want to address on this episode is the Bible Study time, the time you spend in the word of God together as a family. How can you do that? It’s important to answer this question on some level, because adults can feel intimidated by the Bible. There’s a lot of names, a lot of dates, a lot of verbiage, a lot of religious stuff you just don’t understand sometimes.
We also don’t want our kids to feel intimidated by the Bible, so it’s imperative that we parents figure out how to get past that intimidation so we can lead our kids into the glories of the scripture as well.
So we wanna give you some practical tips for how you can use the Bible. To do so, we’re going to use a Bible passage, a short five verse passage, and just walk through it step at a time and show you what we would do if we were using this passage during a Family Time in our home.
Now, let me make a little disclaimer here: what we’re going to demonstrate for you today is probably for upper elementary to middle school, to high school age. For younger ages, we suggest you use a Bible storybook designed specifically for younger kids.
OUR FAMILY BIBLE STUDY ILLUSTRATION
Bless the Lord, oh my soul in all that is within me. Bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, oh my soul and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your inequity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Let’s just imagine that’s what we’re focusing on in our family time today, we’ve got all our upper elementary, junior high, high school kids with us. What are we gonna do once we’ve read that verse?
IDENTIFY AREAS TO FOCUS ON
First off, take it slow. There’s no reason you’ve got to go fast or work to discuss all the verses you read. What you wanna be watching for is where the lights begin to go on for your kids, where they start to get engaged by it, or have questions, or don’t understand something. You want to dig into that. And you want to spend time in those places.
ENSURE THAT EVERYONE COMPREHENDS THE MEANING
Next, be sure that everyone understands the words that you’re reading from the Bible. Words like “iniquity” may not be clear to your kids, so take the time to ensure everyone has the knowledge and definitions that will help them understand.
And if your kids ask a question or come across a word they don’t know, that YOU don’t know either, feel free to say, “I don’t know, but let’s Google it together and find out!”
ASK QUESTIONS THAT CAN’T BE ANSWERED WITH “YES” OR “NO”
Think of questions to ask your children that require more than just a “yes” or a “no” answer. “Yes
‘ or “no” answers don’t take discussion anywhere. You’re asking more “open” questions to make them learn how to think and to reason and to analyze. You are teaching them how to dig into scripture for themselves.
So, given the passage that we’ve looked at here are some questions you might ask.
“What do you think it means to bless the Lord? I mean, God has everything, right? God doesn’t need anything. How do we bless Him?”
Then discuss the issue and let your kids talk. You’ll be amazed at the insight they have. And here’s a little tip: Don’t underestimate the insight your kids might have. Don’t underestimate their ability to understand something. They will surprise you. If you just give them the chance.
This brings up another powerfully important point: Family Time is a great opportunity to start teaching your children the Gospel. Imagine it, there you are, teaching them God’s word. If your children are young and they don’t know Jesus yet, then spend time on passages that highlight the issue of sin and the need for the Savior. Ask them, “What does it mean to be, be forgiven? Do you want God to forgive you? Do you want to ask Jesus into your heart?” Early on, you’re going to have the opportunity to lead your children to consider their own salvation and have the opportunity to trust in Christ..
Keep listening to hear all the details of how we suggest you teach scripture to your children!
Episode Transcript (click to open)
017: How to use the Bible effectively in Family Times (Family Worship)
Can you imagine sitting in your own living room, having a conversation with your kids and your spouse about the Bible, talking about the doctrine, understanding how it applies to your life and doing it all together. Today’s episode of God, fearing kids and the parents who raise them is some practical suggestions for teaching scripture to your family. Hey friends, it’s good to be with you again, I’m Carey
And I’m Mindi,
And we are excited to talk to you today about kind of a subset of the last episode that we did on episode 16, we talked about our practice of family time and how we went about that. If you haven’t listened to that, you can find it really easily going to GodFearingKids.com/016episode 16. You will find it or go back into your podcast player. It’s probably still there today. We want to talk to you about a subset inside of that, and that is the Bible time. The time you spend in the word of God together as a family, how can you do that? I think it’s important to answer this question on some level, because adults can feel intimidated by the Bible. There’s a lot of names, a lot of dates, a lot of verbiage, a lot of religious stuff you just don’t understand sometimes.
And so we don’t want our kids to feel intimidated by it, and we don’t want to feel intimidated by it. So we want to give you some practical tips for how you can use the Bible and the way we’re going to go about it is to use a Bible passage, a short five verse passage, and just walk through it step at a time and show you what we would do. If we were using this passage. Now, let me make a little disclaimer here. What we’re going to demonstrate for you today is probably for upper elementary to middle school, to high school age for younger ages like that. Mindi, what would you recommend
Their children’s Bible that has all the pictures in it? You could easily go through one of the stories and think up your own questions as you’re reading it to ask them.
Absolutely. Just like you would read a Dr. Seuss book at bedtime, use the children’s Bible story in your family time. Do you unpack the truths? We also, uh, when we did scripture memory, which we mentioned in the last episode, we would make sure that little kids, as they’re learning the verse, understand what the words mean? So last time I mentioned first Peter, five, five, God opposes the proud, well, what does oppose mean? We would make sure everybody understood on their level, what these things meant. So that as they’re learning the verse, they’re not just learning words to pair it back to us, but they’re learning truth and meaning. So as we dive in here, I’m going to have Mindi Reid Psalm 103 versus one through five.
Bless the Lord, owe my soul in all that is within me. Bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, owe my soul and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your inequity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the equals.
All right. So that is a passage that let’s just imagine. That’s what we’re focusing on in our family time today, we’ve got all our upper elementary, junior high, high school kids with us. What are we going to do once? We’ve read that verse. Well, first off, take it slow. There’s no reason you got to go fast. You even have to feel like you talk about all five verses. What you want to be watching for is where the lights begin to go on for your kids, where they start to get engaged with it, or have questions or, or don’t understand something. You want to dig into that. And you want to spend time in those places,
Make sure they have their own Bible and they’re reading it in their own Bible.
Yeah, that’s good. Why do you think that’s so important?
Because they need to get comfortable using their own Bible and flipping through the pages and maybe underlining things and just like a, a school book.
All right. So as you’re taking it slow, as you’re digging into the scripture, you want to make sure that words like in this example, bless and soul and benefits, iniquity, make sure all those words are understood. Cuz even for adults, a word like iniquity, you may wait a minute. What’s iniquity. I think I know what that means, but I’m not sure you want to make sure that everyone understands it on their own level. And you do that sometimes through discussion. You know, you don’t have to give all the answers, ask one of your older children. What do you think iniquity means? And let them talk about it. And maybe the younger children will engage as they hear their older siblings talking about it. Maybe they’ll give an example. Yeah. You mean like the time you pulled my hair when we were, you know, and it gets fun because you can, you can deal with life issues as you go on. <laugh> so use discussion as part of this, but just keep in mind in this. There’s not going to be any kind of impact if the passage is not understood. So just take your time, make sure everybody understands. And depending on the age and the spiritual maturity of the kids who are involved, you might take just one verse at a time and that’s okay. You don’t have to get through the whole passage. Like we mentioned before.
And also parents don’t be afraid if your kids ask you something, you don’t know, be honest, be humble and say, you know, actually, I don’t know. I am going to make a note to find the answer to that. And I will let you know. I mean, what a great example that is to your child of humility and being teachable. And later on when they don’t know something, they don’t have to fake it and act like they do to their friends or to their teacher. And they can say, I don’t know, actually I’ll find out. So be a good example to your children and, and be okay with that.
Yeah. There’s a great example right here in this passage. Verse number three says who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases? You may have a savvy middle schooler who says, well, if God heals all our diseases, why does grandma have cancer? You know, those kinds of things. And you don’t have to have an answer for that right away. You can do some study outside the group, come back. And that’s a great topic for next family time where you can, you can bring those things to your kid and you can bring up the answers that various people come up with on those topics that you’ve researched and help your kids understand. God has no ego to bruise. God doesn’t mind their questions. God is eager to work with them to understand his word.
Another good idea. And suggestion would be to try to think of questions, to ask your children that require more than just a yes or a no.
Oh yeah, yeah. A yes or no answer. Kind of it doesn’t take discussion anywhere. Right?
You want to try to help your children to learn how to think and to reason and to analyze you want to teach them how to dig into scripture.
Yeah. So given the passage that we’ve looked at here are some questions you might ask in this example, you could say, what do you think it means to bless the Lord? I mean, God has everything, right? God doesn’t need anything. How do we bless him and discuss that? Let your kids talk. You’ll be amazed at the insight they have. And here’s a little less aside. Don’t underestimate the insight your kids might have. Don’t underestimate their ability to understand something. They will surprise you. If you just give them the chance
And also make this an encouraging time for them. You want to find things to encourage them in that. That’s really good thinking that I’m really proud of you. I could tell the Lord gave you that insight or that wisdom, or just encourage them. Don’t say, well, no, that’s not really what I’m looking for. And then go and ask their sister. You need to say, thanks for answering that. I can tell you really thought that through. That was good.
Yeah. But at the same time, I would say don’t be afraid to correct a misunderstanding or a doctrinal error if they’re seeing something wrongly, but do it graciously, do it kindly help them understand why, what they’re saying is not the truth based on what the scripture
Said. Yeah. That’s
Very good. Yeah. Another question you might ask in this is, you know, it says he forgives all our inequities. What is forgiveness has God forgiven you? You know, you want to get very practical. Don’t be afraid of being very upfront about these things as it pertains to your children.
And that just makes me put a little side note, family time that we talked about in the last episode is a great opportunity to start teaching your children, the gospel. And so here you are teaching them God’s word. If your children are young and they don’t know Jesus, yet, those are the kinds of passages you’re going to be wanting to focus on and teach them and asking those kinds of questions. What does it mean to be, be forgiven? Do you want God to forgive you? Do you want to ask Jesus into your heart? You know, so early on, you’re going to probably be leading your children to the Lord during these Bible discussions. Most likely.
Yeah. So you’re going to talk to your kids about sin and do they have sin forgiveness? Why did they need forgiveness? Why does God not accept us when we’re sinners? You know, all of those things, don’t be afraid to get into the doctrine because the doctrine really is just reality. It’s reality of how God sees us human beings and what he has done to make it possible for us to know him. That’s the good news of the gospel. So to sum this one, I’m ask questions that require more than a yes or no based on your passage. And then finally tell related stories from your life to flesh out the truths. So if you have an example of how God showed you a truth that this passage is teaching, tell the story, tell them where you were in life and what you were struggling with and what God did to teach you. And all those sorts of things. As they see that you process life with God in the picture, they’re going to get the impression that’s how you do life as a Christian. And they’re going to want to imitate that and eventually be interacting with the Lord themselves because that’s what they’ve learned.
It’s always good to end your Bible. Study time with personal application. We found that that is just so helpful in our own quiet times when Carey was pastoring, he always ended his sermons with personal application. We as human beings need to know what to do with the truth and the information that we’re getting. And so from your children being really little to your children, being teenagers and almost out of the house, the personal application is the encouragement that’s going to spur them on. So it’s very important when you, as the father or if there’s not a father in the home, you as the mother are leading your children in studying the Bible, you yourself want to know ahead of time, what application you’re wanting to encourage your children with and keep it simple and keep it doable.
Yeah, very good. I was just thinking about a very specific sort of application you might make. Let’s say you’ve got kind of a Solen junior high boy. Who’s been having a hard time being thankful. He’s been having a hard time being appreciative of the efforts. His parents are putting into feeding him or clothing him or whatever. And he’s just starting to get that junior high attitude, a passage like this says, bless the Lord of my soul and forget not all his benefits. You can use this passage, not in a manipulative way, but just to confront that behavior in the context of relationship in a family time asking Joey, what do you think about forgetting, not his benefits? What does that mean? What does that mean in your life? How can you learn to appreciate God’s benefits more? What are some benefits in your life that you need to thank him for more often? You know, make it very practical and personal application like Mindi was saying, don’t be afraid to do that too often. I think parents will give some kind of a non-specific application and hope by osmosis, the kid gets it right. And that doesn’t usually work <laugh>
And also part of God’s gifts. And part of what he calls us to do is admonish one another. Hmm. We did that in our family times. We did that regularly in our home with the other siblings around, for example, using Carey’s example, we would bring up to our son. We feel like you have not been thankful lately. And we might even bring up examples so that he would know what we’re talking about. And then we would go to the verse and we’d say, God’s wanting you to be thankful. He’s not wanting you to forget the blessings that he’s given you. And, and do you see that? Do you understand? And we’d always want to get to their heart and help them to, and every time our children were broken about it and we would be having this conversation with the whole family sitting down in the living room. Yeah. So the other children could see how we handled their sibling. They could also see how their sibling responded well, and we loved them and we encouraged them and we hugged them. It, it just ended positively. Yeah. Yeah. And that really helps grow a humility when you have to take it a correction when other people are around.
Yeah. Now let’s practice what we’re preaching here. The word admonished that Mindi used means to lovingly point out in someone’s life, a place where they need to grow or the place that they need to
Improve to encourage them away from sin,
Right. To encourage them away from a sin or, or destructive behavior toward what God would have them do. And so keep in mind in this relational context of family time, we’re going to admonish this son, lovingly, this is for his good, we’re doing this. And all the siblings are watching. They’re seeing what it looks like to lovingly care for someone enough to warn them away from a behavior that might be damaging to them. And they know at some point it may be their turn. They may be the one who receives admonishment, or it may be dad, admonishing, mom, or mom, admonishing dad tomorrow in the, in the kitchen as they’re talking, you know, and we see this as a culture in our home. And it grows out of things like family time where we’ve demonstrated it in a loving way and everyone learns to respond well.
We hope this episode was helpful to you. Thank you so much for listening. If you have any questions about this episode or one’s previously, please go to our website at God, fearing kids.com
And let’s end in prayer.
So father, we just thank you for your guidance and your counsel. And we thank you for your word. We just ask that these parents listening will grow to know you more deeply through studying your word and that that you will give them confidence and encouragement in reading your word to their children and teaching them from that. I just pray holy spirit, that you will empower them to be great teachers and to be able to practically live out what they learn so that they can guide and teach their children how to practically live themselves in Jesus name. Amen.
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