Patricia and I had this outrageous idea to teach our two oldest kids the scriptures by saying them together at each meal. The idea was to build the scripture into our routine, just a part of what we do. At the time, Patrick was almost three and Anna was four. We started with the 23rd Psalm. . .THE WHOLE THING! We were so disappointed after several weeks of saying it together at each meal, and yet they still looked at us like two owlets, not even an attempt to say it with us. We discussed throwing out the whole idea when the Lord let us in on a little secret.
They were playing together one morning, Anna leading the way with her dolls and Patrick dragging one by the hair. Anyway, they decided to say the blessing before their pretend meal and they started with the 23rd Psalm. . .THE WHOLE THING! We were stunned. It was the first time that we had heard them say it, but they did it. We knew we were on to something. Ever since we have made that practice of saying a scripture part of our blessing over a meal, one way of weaving scripture into our family’s day.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
In other words, weave God’s truth into your routine; integrate it into all that you do. Little bites are better than big mouthfuls.
My pastor Billy Duke shared with me once about the Bible his mom gave him when he left home. She had written on the front leaf: “This book will keep you from sin; and sin will keep you from this book!”
Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Let’s be committed to helping our children hide God’s word in their hearts.
Gathered tips on teaching the scriptures: Bill and Susan Hightower love sharing after the mealtimes. Bill is very intentional in bringing to the table something of value to challenge his children to follow the Lord. It may not always be scripture; it may be manners or news items or situations that stimulate discussion.
We agree that it is a great time to train; and those short mealtime discussions accumulate over the years to shape the mindset of our children. Keep it short; think of it as planting seeds. If your kids ask questions that make it longer, that’s what you want.
Question for next week: Share with us the “who, what, when, where, and how” you teach your children to pray. We love to hear your ideas and pass them on.