Want your kids to read the Bible? Here are a few tips to help guide their spiritual growth in the Marker of Biblical Engagement!
Read it yourself! Modeling Scripture reading is especially important as you parent your kids! Instead of finding a quiet corner in the morning, read your Bible in front of them, beside them, or out loud with them!
Read it like a story. The Bible IS a story—the greatest story ever told! Resist the temptation to read quickly or in a monotone voice. Give the people voices, use tempo and volume, and stop and ask questions along the way, just as you would when reading a children’s book.
Draw it. Or sculpt it, or paint it, or build it out of legos! After you read the Bible, challenge your kids to visually represent what they just read with art supplies. You might even buy canvases and make art for your home!
Let them listen. Sometimes reading feels like work to a kid. Instead of telling them what to read, either use a Bible app to read it to them or allow them to sit or lay down and listen.
Bring it to life. Our tech-savvy kids love to use mobile devices to make videos, and what better subject matter than a Bible story? Give them your phone and encourage them to write a rap, craft a stop motion, get some friends and act it out, or draw on a whiteboard. They could even start their own YouTube channel! For younger kids, use their toys to act out a story, or play in a sandbox or bathtub to bring stories into their “original” settings.
Mark it up. Show your kids how to really study the Bible. Give them highlighters and a paper Bible or a print out of what you want them to read, and tell them to highlight the verbs in one color, names of God in another, connect things that relate or highlight certain repeating words or themes.
Ask the right questions. Studying Scripture is really all about asking the right questions about a passage. Ask your kids these questions as you study together:
Make it a word-find. Before you start reading with your kids, choose a word that you know appears multiple times in the passage. Tell your kids to listen for that word, and keep a tally of the number of times they hear it.
Use resources and show your kids how to use them. There are some incredible books to help kids study God’s Word (The Radical Book for Kids by Champ Thorn- ton), as well as online video resources like The Bible Project videos.
Hear their voices. Study the Bible with your kids. Right alongside them. Listen to their insights, and acknowledge that the same Holy Spirit that lives in you, lives in them. This means they can have knowledge far beyond their years and insight that will challenge your faith. Rather than feeling like you always have to teach or interpret for them, allow them to tell you their thoughts, and then gently guide them to be sure they are discovering truth. You have a sacred calling to parent and to walk alongside, and this is the perfect area to do both!