I recently read Living Your Faith by Elizabeth George and it got me thinking about family worship in a new way. Recently there has been a great call for Bible literacy in the church. Because of this there are a lot of conversations about how to study the Bible and getting to know the God of the Bible. As adults many of us have jumped on the bandwagon but what about our children? How do we create in them a desire for the word? How do we teach them to live their faith?
The simple answer is: we train them.
I know what you’re thinking: how do I train someone to do what I’m still learning to do myself?
In Living Your Faith ,I got a real look at what this process can look like for our children. And it’s a lot easier than you think it is. We have to teach our children to approach the word of God with curiosity and hunger. We have to teach them to want to know the Bible. We teach them to how to live their faith.
Here are four ways that you can start using in your family devotions right now:
Aim to read one book at a time.
In today’s world, we are being taught to flutter from one activity to a next. A 2015 study by Microsoft Corp stated that humans have an attention span of about 8 seconds. Our ability to concentrate is less than that of a goldfish. This inability to settle on any one task carries over into our Bible study time.
Instead of trying to read a book in its entirety we flit all over God’s word like, well, a … goldfish. We pass on this habit to our children.
Read for understanding.
For some reason, we believe that when we read the Bible we should do that using the shallow part of our brain. Is it any wonder then that we don’t know or understand the word of God as well as we should?
As you read the Bible, make notes and ask questions. Highlight. Try to figure out what the writer was actually saying. Don’t assume that he was talking about things that are happening today in the 21st century. Context is key. If we don’t know what it meant to the original audience, then we’re not going to be able to figure out how it applies to us.
When you read a Jane Austen novel do you believe that you’re not feminine enough because you don’t sing, sew, dance and play the piano? Then why do we read God’s word without considering the time and culture that it was written for?
Approach the Bible as if were a textbook
Don’t get mad at me just yet, I’m not suggesting that you treat the word of God with disrespect. Quite the contrary, I’m suggesting that we treat God’s instruction manual with greater respect than we do. Treat it like a literature book.
I remember doing Shakespeare’s Hamlet in college. The first time I read the book it was pure gibberish. So I read it again. And again. And again. Pretty soon the words flowed and I started to read and understand it as I did the books written in modern English. In the same way, if we read Gods word repeatedly, we will get a greater understanding. Always remember to read with an open heart and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Live your faith
When we study a textbook, we do so knowing that the day will come when we will be tested on what we learned. It’s the same with the Bible. The great difference is that our test paper is life. We use these lessons every day.
How do we take the lessons that we uncovered from the Bible and make them a part of our daily life?
We need to figure this out when we study the Word. We need to teach our children how to do this. We need to let them see us do this.
Until we train the next generation to interact with the word of God on a deeper level, will we not get rid of Bible illiteracy. Let us start a revolution and teach our children how to live their faith.
How do you model Bible study for our children?