Riding home from youth group one night, we talked about how our pastor had asked my daughter to make an announcement in church the next Sunday. He wanted to her come up front and use the microphone, something she had never done before.
“I’m scared, Mommy,” she confessed.
I was quite surprised, then, when my son, who was about to turn six, looked at her clearly and said, “You know what to do. We learned about it at SPRING (youth group). God says, ‘Be strong and courageous.’ God will be with you. You can do it.”
Silence ruled the car for a moment. None of us expected the little one to spit that out! You could tell she really wanted to say, “Yes, well, I’m afraid,” but really, her brother had just hit the nail on the head. She was afraid, God would be with her, and that was that. It would be okay. We continued to remind her of this truth right up until she walked up front and picked up the microphone, and as promised, she did just fine. She beamed happily when it was all over.
The Bible is the ultimate answer book. It has everything we need to know about life, death, love, and God inside of it – the trick is to know what it says. Psalm 119:11 says “I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you,” so we can be sure that knowing … memorizing … scripture is a powerful, useful tool. If you’re anything like me, though, memorization isn’t easy. I also didn’t start memorizing scripture until I was an adult, and, well, old dogs, new tricks … you know. It’s hard.
I’m trying, though, but I also want to give my kids an advantage. I want to help them know their Bibles and to memorize scripture now, as kids, and to continue this as they travel through their lives, so that they have His words in their hearts. So they don’t sin. So they can know which choices to make. So they know that God is with them, whether they’re afraid of a crowd, a school test, or an even bigger life challenge.
The Bible isn’t always easy to read, though, so how can you make this a kid-friendly activity?
Here are some ideas:
1. Christa Brown shares about using puppets during her Bible story time with her kids.
2. Decorate with scripture. A friend frames beautiful scripture verses done artistically and hangs them around her house. You could change these up weekly, monthly, or seasonally, and offering a prize or a special treat when everyone can recite it might be a fun incentive. Pinterest is a great place to find scripture printables.
3. You could let your kids dig into the scripture artistically themselves. I’ve shared six ways to turn scripture into art at my blog, and these simple styles can be done by anyone. These are great for visual learners, and they can inspire some great discussions about the word choices in the scripture as you’re drawing. The finished product could also be displayed throughout your house or would make a wonderful gift or keepsake.
4. When discussing issues in the midst of life – you know, about the star who’s in all the headlines or the friend who’s causing distress – look up what the Bible has to say about it. Bible Answers for Preschoolers is a great resource for looking up scripture about character traits or problems, like fear or faith, and as your kids get older, you can look those scriptures up in the Bible, put them in context, compare multiple verses, etc. A simple concordance would also be a useful tool as they grow.
5. Read scripture together. Have a regular family time of straight-up scripture reading or devotional time.
What ideas do you have for helping kids see and understand scripture?