One of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice. I enjoy getting lost in the story, whether it’s the book or the mandatory BBC version (Let’s be honest. Collin Firth was born to play Darcy!) I couldn’t wait to introduce my daughter to the world of Jane Austin. Even though she could have read the words at a relatively young age, I waited until she was much older to let her read it. Why? Because until then, she had not lived enough life to really understand the beauty behind the story.
Children are concrete thinkers for much of their childhood. They understand the things they can see, touch, taste, hear, smell and experience. Abstract concepts or things outside of their experience are difficult for them to comprehend. This makes teaching them the Bible a unique challenge. Oh, they can remember the details they are told. They may even have memorized what they are supposed to learn from the story. Comprehending those same ideas is almost impossible for most children. Especially with the current ways we teach children the Bible in many places.
I don’t know why, but many people think having scriptures on various items is a cheesy way to decorate. Yet in the Old Testament, God told the people to have scriptures on at least a couple of places around the house – the door post and the gate.
Why did God want scriptures where people had to see them entering their yards and their houses? The Bible never says specifically, but my guess is that it reminded them every time they came home and every time they left, “whose they are”.
So, how was your first month trying to live more like Jesus? Were you able to find Bibles and Bible study plans that worked for you and your children? Did any of you work with your children on increasing their Bible comprehension or scripture memorization?
This is my daughter’s junior year in high school and she is being slammed academically. Even though she is home schooled, she is studying six or seven days a week (and long days at that). It would have been very easy for us to give Church, service work and Bible reading a rest this year. To her credit, I don’t think she would have let me had I tried. (I did force her to take a two month break from one volunteer commitment, partially to keep her healthy.)
School teachers spend a lot of time working with children on reading comprehension. They understand children need to have the ability to teach themselves information from the written word. Without strong reading comprehension skills, a child will struggle with much of his school work and even in his adult life.
Yet, when our children read the Bible, most of them have had no help with the special comprehension skills needed. They often struggle to understand what is written and give up in frustration. The sad thing is that those words are the most important words your child will ever read. The words in the Bible are God’s message to us and His commands for how He wants us to live our lives.
So how are you and your family doing with the twelve month challenge to start living more like Jesus? Have you started having family devotionals? Has everyone found a Bible reading plan that meets their needs? Have you found some great songs to help you memorize scripture?
Finding a Bible reading plan for older children and teens can be a challenge. Many young people struggle with the standard “reading through the Bible in a year” or even the “chronological Bible” plans which adults usually prefer. Children start out the year fine, as those first days are the stories in Genesis they have heard most of their lives. As soon as the genealogies and law lists start though, their eyes glaze over and they give up on Bible reading.