As I aspire to become a Proverbs 31 Woman, my greatest responsibility is to train my children in the way of the Lord. As a person who did not grow up in a Christian home, this is sometimes more challenging than anything else I aspire to. But one of the greatest ways I can reach this goal is to immerse my children in God's Word. It's also one of the easiest - at least once you get the hang of it. My motto is: Never let an opportunity go by to read, talk about, or refer to the Bible.
Here are eight ways I immerse my children in God's Word. Are you doing all of them?
- Read to the children from your Bible. I like to do this at the beginning of the day - often while the children eat breakfast or while they color - both of which seem to improve their listening skills. I have recently taken to reading from the book of Proverbs. It seems there are fewer challenging words in this book, plus it's packed with excellent advice for children. We either proceed or follow this Bible reading with prayer.
- Read to them from a storybook Bible. Our favorites are The Big Picture Story Bible (for the youngest) and The Jesus Storybook Bible. Both do a great job of revealing Jesus in both the Old and New Testaments. We also read vintage The Bible Story (by Arthur S. Maxwell); this series does the best job of covering almost all the stories in the Bible than any other children's Bible storybook I've seen.
- Have them read from their Bible. For beginning readers, the Hear Me Read Bible is a nice choice. For readers who are a little more advanced, Zonderkidz publishes individual "I Can Read" leveled books that are Bible stories. More advanced readers should do fine with an NIV or NIrV translation of the Bible.
- Listen to the Bible. You can listen to it free at BibleGateway, Biblica, and Audio Bible, among many other places.
- Listen to Christian music. I want my children to know those old hymns; Hymns for a Child's Heart really speaks to them. We also listen to and sing together the memory verse songs in Hide 'Em in Your Heart. It's fine to listen to Christian music for adults, too, but I do think it's smart to have some music that is kid-specific and refers to actual passages of Scripture.
- Use other Christian media. My children have benefited tremendously from listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Jonathan Parks CDs. Learn about other great Christian media for kids by clicking here.
- Memorize scripture together. It is so true that the verses we memorize as children remain with us as adults.
- Refer to scripture throughout the day. This is perhaps easiest when we are correcting our children - especially if we can relate the correction to a memory verse. For example, if one child steals another's toy, you could say, "Is that doing to John as you would have him do to you?" But don't limit the scriptures to correction; use them in praise, too. For example, "Oh, Laura! I know it was hard for you to share with John, but you did a wonderful job of doing to others as you would have them do to you. I know God is pleased with you...and so am I."
In this passage, the Bible is referring specifically to the Ten Commandants - the foundational information everyone needs to know in order to repent and accept Christ's grace. But I believe it also applies broadly to all of God's Word.