Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teaching the Bible to Young Children

This is just a small section of the chapter on teaching the Bible from my book Common Sense Excellence: Faith-Filled Home Education for Preschool to 5th Grade.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them,
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms,
put his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16

“...and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures,” 2 Timothy 3:15

“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2

Even tiny children and infants can know the embrace of their loving Creator! We don’t expect them to be theology experts, but we do know that Jesus wants all of us to come to him with the simple faith of a child. With your own children, start small, but do start early. Here are some ideas for preschool Bible time:

Make devotional times very brief. A few songs, a story, a prayer, and a verse to memorize will be quite sufficient for preschoolers. If you insist on an extended time, you will lose their attention and your patience.

Keep it simple.
If you have had several years of exposure to the Bible, you already know so many of the stories and concepts yourself. It’s easy to forget that your child is starting from nothing. It’s up to you to teach him little by little, and not assume that he can automatically understand the concepts that you are introducing.

Do it regularly. Bible time is an acquired habit for parent and child. If you do it daily from a very young age, it will be much easier to keep up the flow, and they will know what to expect!

Begin with cheerful music. Choose a few energetic songs to sing -- the kind that get your child marching around the room! We often sang the song, “Only a Boy Named David.” At the last line, “...and the giant came tumbling down” all of the children would fall to the floor and lie as motionless as possible. We had a contest to see who could be the most “dead.” Of course, they would complain loudly if the toddler tickled them and made them laugh.

Read colorful picture books about Bible themes.
These will acquaint your children with Bible stories, characters and ideas. Your local Christian bookstore probably has a wonderful selection of attractive board books.

Talk about who God is and what God says. Informal “along the way” discussions build on these ideas. Tell them over and over again how God made them and loves them more than Mommy ever could. Even from the early age of two, I encourage memorization of short verses or phrases.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails