The world tells our kids to love a lot of things. Fast food. Popularity. Celebrities. Their phones. What the world will never teach your child to love is God’s Word.
That’s up to you.
There’s not a lot in our culture today that’s going to support your efforts, so you’re going to need to be intentional about it. And even if your child attends a Christian school, or is active with you at church, don’t assume these institutions are successfully infusing your son or daughter with a respect and love for God’s Word.
Once again, the best person for that mission is…you.
Below you’ll find some ideas to help you encourage your child to engage with God’s Word.
1. Fall in love with God’s Word yourself.
One of the most important ways you can show your child the relevance of the Bible today is to show your child that the Bible matters, personally, to you. Read your Bible. Listen for God’s voice in the words. Apply what He’s telling you in your own life. You will be impacted. Your child will be impacted, too.
2. Provide your child with his or her own Bible, in a kid-friendly version.
There are lots to choose from. The NIV Kid’s Quiz Bible, for example, features maps, trivia, and more than 1000 fun quiz questions to get children searching God’s Word for themselves. Check out the Kid’s Quiz Bible and other kid-friendly Bibles here.
3. Handwrite the Bible.
Did you know this is “a thing”? Let your child pick out a journal, some colorful pens, and a book of the Bible to get started. Oh, and don’t forget to pick out a journal for yourself at the same time. Make this a family event, and plan it in a way you know will be enjoyable for your child. You can write at home, in a park, in a coffee shop. Keep each event short enough so that kids will want to repeat the experience. People who handwrite the Bible say it helps them understand the passage better, feel closer to God, and memorize Scripture easier.
4. Make it relevant.
Teach your kids to ask the question, “What does the Bible say about…” As a family, practice turning to Scripture for guidance on relevant issues including: bullying, popularity, rejection, racism, gossip, loyalty, kindness, true love, popular movies, depression, sex, evolution, suicide, topics in the news, and more.
5. Apply something that you’ve read in the Bible.
Take an action or make a decision based on something you’ve recently read in God’s Word, either in your personal studies, or something you’ve read as family. Make sure your children understand the reasons behind your action or decision. The best way to help your children understand that reading God’s Word isn’t an intellectual exercise—but how we learn to recognize God’s voice and live according to His principles—is to let them watch Scripture influence your own behavior and choices.
6. Play charades with proverbs.
Here are some examples of verses from the book of Proverbs that would translate well into a fun game of charades:
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23)
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30)
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (Proverbs 6:6)
7. Get the Bible on your family calendar.
Establish recurring times in your child’s schedule for interacting with God’s Word. What might this look like? A daily devotional, a weekly Bible story and popcorn, or a quarterly “date” with Mom or Dad to do a spiritual checkup and talk about anything your child wants to bring up.