The "Hows" of Family Bible Study
Relax and just be natural!
You don’t have to be the all-knowing teacher. You are just a regular family sitting around talking about the Lord. No need to be at a kitchen table or in the office. The living room, or even Mom and Dad’s bed, are great atmospheres for casual and comfortable conversation. If you have nice weather, moving your Bible time outside is also a great idea.
Talk about the events in the Bible like they really did happen—because they did!
It’s important not to read the Bible to your children like it’s a fairy tale. Emphasize that the stories you are talking about are real. Then, share examples of similar things that God has done in your own lives. This will build your children’s faith that God cares about your family and will always be there for them. It also makes God more tangible and real to your kids.
Create a predictable family Bible study schedule, and stick to it.
When you set an actual schedule, it adds significance to your Bible time. It also allows you to promote the event and get your kids excited about it. As your kids begin to get older, they understand that this specific time is family time, and they know to schedule around it. If possible, involve both parents in your family Bible time. It shows the children that their mom and dad both put a priority on God and on them. If one parent has a strenuous work schedule or travels a lot, it makes this family time even more important. It is better to do your family Bible study less often and have the entire family there, than to have it weekly, and miss out on everyone coming together.
Always open and close your family Bible time with a prayer.After the parents have led the family in prayer a few times, give your kids a chance to take turns doing the opening prayer. For the closing prayer, open the floor and ask each person to add in something specific that they would like to pray about. Encourage them to pray for themselves, or to intercede for others. This is a great hands-on way to teach them about the power of prayer.
Most families do not have a chance to really pray together outside of blessing their food. Allowing yourself to really open up and pray a heart felt prayer in front of your children will teach them how to approach God in prayer for themselves.
Be creative! The most important family Bible study tip is to personalize this special time to fit your individual family. Here are a few ideas.
Do your kids have a favorite meal or restaurant? Do they like ice cream or fruit smoothies? Reserve these special treats for Family Bible night, and make it a tradition to go there afterwards and discuss what you've learned.
Turn your Bible time into a pajama party. Have everyone run and change into their PJs before you get started. Then, pop popcorn, and enjoy your time together.
If you have older kids, have them lead the lessons. Let them pick Scriptures they want to talk about, and come up with fun ways to share it with the family.
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Sit down with your family, and ask your kids what kinds of things they would like to do.
Remember that your family’s Bible time isn’t your chance to beat your kids over the head with the Ten Commandments and the dangers of fornication. This is your chance to share God’s love with them in a way they can both understand and enjoy. It’s also your opportunity to help them build a strong spiritual foundation that will stand up to the temptations that they will face in the coming years.
So, make the time to sow your ideals and values into your children. You don’t need a special degree or calling on your life. You already have one—it’s called Parenthood.
Ameerah Lewis is an educator and host to a Christian Web site called Hem-of-His-Garment, an online Bible study ministry dedicated to helping Christians fall back in love with their Heavenly Father. Through her personal battle with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, Ameerah has been able to minister grace to hurting people who need to know that God often brings a purpose in pain. For more information visit Ameerah's Bio Page.