One of the great things about technology is that we have access to primary source documents and archaeological finds related to the Bible at our fingertips. Unfortunately, we also have an internet full of false teachings claiming to be true and biblical.
It’s hard enough at times to navigate all of this information in wise ways as adults. Our children may struggle even more because of their lack of life experience and Bible knowledge.
There’s a fun way to start teaching your kids how to find helpful information when they want to learn more about what God wants them to do. The ultimate goal is to make sure your kids learn to check everything they are taught by what is written in the Bible.
It doesn’t matter who says it, what “evidence” they provide or how many seemingly logical reasons they have for their interpretation – if it doesn’t match what is consistently seen throughout scripture, then it isn’t valid. So how can a child or even young teen who is just beginning to read the Bible independently find things easily in scripture?
They need to learn to be comfortable with a concordance. This used to be a book that contained a list of every scripture where certain words could be found. (The books still exist, but are rarely used today.) So if you wanted to know what the Bible said about discipleship, you looked the word up in a concordance and had an entire list of relevant scriptures to read. (Some Bibles have partial ones in the back.)
Today there are online variants of a concordance – which is why you need to help your kids pick an online tool that will send them to the Bible without a lot of added commentary. A fun way for them to practice is to give them Bible mysteries to solve.
You can make the mysteries really simple and give them a list of items. Or if you have extra time and creativity, give them a box with items that are clues or send them on a treasure hunt around your house to find paper or physical item clues.
If you want your child to find all of the scriptures about Noah, you might use toy animals, pictures of rain and a piece of wood. Moses might have clues like hieroglyphics, sheep (from when he fled to Midian) and frogs (one of the plagues).
The clues and the task can become increasingly more difficult as your kids become more comfortable finding the information they want in the Bible. Instead of clues to Bible stories, perhaps you can give them clues that will lead them to looking up scriptures about a concept like love, baptism or purity.
You don’t have to do it all at once. Breaking up the sessions will keep them from getting bored or overwhelmed. The goal is to have fun while learning how to find the scriptures they need quickly in the Bible. In fact, after they get really proficient, you may want to make it a race and see who can find the chapter or verse to which your clues connect the quickest.
There are other Bible aids you can introduce to your children, but teaching them how to find the actual verses in the Bible about a particular topic is an important skill your kids need to master to help them live the life God wants them to live. It’s worth taking a little extra time and working with them on it.
Note: The easiest to navigate and most thorough I could find without commentary was this one. You can type in a word or phrase, choose which version of the Bible you want and how many scriptures you want to see that contain the word or phrase. Adults often use Strong’s Concordance, but it is too complex and has too much editorial comment for most young people.