A Priority Project
A top priority as a parent is helping your youngster understand his innate spirituality as a son or daughter of God. It is so important to make time in our day for family Bible study.
It's that time of year when the family calendar begins to look mighty grueling with kids' homework and sport activities on top of parents' "homework" and career. It's easy to just say: "There's no time for another activity."
But there must be. A top priority as a parent is helping your youngster understand his innate spirituality as a son or daughter of God. That may sound daunting. Possibly you already count on Sunday school and your own Bible study to accomplish this. But research shows that more than 70% of youngsters don't know the Bible and its lessons in spirituality.
In Colossians, chapter 3, there are these encouraging lines:
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom...Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Where can the time come for setting "affection on things above?" One possibility is at dinner - for twenty minutes while the family is together (as it should be). Another is a daily session after sports, before or after dinner, or as a bedtime activity. With kid input, work it into the daily schedule. If necessary, put a reminder on the refrigerator, bulletin board, or family calendar. Yes, it is more important than soccer practice, television viewing, game play, or long phone calls. And it can be done in twenty minutes a day, about five times weekly.
What are you going to do?
Let me introduce my "Year of the Bible" study plan. You will need a lined notebook for each youngster (and yourself), plus books such as Eugene H. Peterson's The Message (which puts difficult Bible passages in contemporary language). And you'll want a reference book that ties in with the King James version of the Bible. For this project, I'm suggesting the Kids' Study Bible, KJV (Published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI 49530). (It's about $16, and although I don't agree with some of the theology, it does share many reputable/useful facts.) It's available at Amazon and many book stores.
There are 66 books in the Bible, some are short, some are multiples with the same title - and these can be combined. Each week, I suggest you consider just one book. Of course, you will have a short amount of preparation to do - but I plan to be doing the same thing each week and I don't think it will be onerous. [Bible Overview – Books of the Bible archive – list each book with a background summary; Bible Characters offers additional information on some of the main characters in each book]
So, you will start with Genesis. Cover these points:
- The meaning of the title
- Who wrote it? Perhaps Moses
- Where does it take place? (use a map) Mesopotamia, Canaan, Egypt
- What stories show the spiritual characteristics of these early followers? (Most youngsters will be familiar with these stories but you will want to discuss these qualities and how they increase spirituality.)
- True creation (Genesis 1): Our heritage
- Adam and Eve (Genesis 2-3): Alertness to evil
- Jabal and Jubal (Genesis 4): Creativity
- Noah (Genesis 6): Obedience
- Abraham (Genesis 12-18): Trustfulness
- Jacob (Genesis 27-32): Redemption
- Joseph (Genesis 37-41): Integrity
These are the words of Eugene H. Peterson: (In Genesis) "God is presented to us not in ideas and arguments but in events and actions that involve each of us personally. The signposts provide immediate and practical directions to guide us into behavior that is appropriate to our humanity and honoring to God." And isn't that what we're teaching children? We need appropriate behavior that honors God and increases our spirituality.
Yes, it will take some time, but it's well worth it! Let's begin this year of study together!