How do you teach a not-yet-reader to love the Word of God?
In addition to reading the Bible to them from a young age, here are 5 other ways.
5 WAYS TO TEACH YOUNG CHILDREN TO LOVE THE WORD OF GOD
1. Listen to the Bible on CD. (Or, in this day and age, you can stream it.)
When I was a child, my father often had tapes of the Bible playing in our house. Even before I could read, I loved the intonation of the words of the Bible as read by Alexander Scourby. This year one of my goals is, whenever possible, to have my children go to sleep listening to the Bible on CD. My children really enjoy this.
2. Read Bible Stories to Them.
I remember in vivid detail the night I asked Jesus to save me from my sins. I was about four years old, and we had read the story of Christ's death on the cross during our family devotional time. Every time I think of that night, I think of the picture of Jesus on the cross from the Bible story book we read. The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes is still one of my favorite Bible story books for little children and we use it for devotional times with our little ones. My children have loved that particular book so much that we have gone through 4 or 5 copies of it. It is hard to find now; the publisher has updated it with cartoon-like pictures, which is a real shame because the original pictures are stunning. I highly recommend the original book for children ages 1-6.
3. Teach them Bible songs.
We had a favorite song we sang to each of our babies when we put them down to bed. In addition, with our twins, David and Daniel, we started singing "Only a Boy Named David" and "Dare to Be a Daniel" to them before they were even born. Do you teach your children songs at a young age? Here are some great ones to use:
4. Memorize, Memorize, Memorize.
The early years are "parrot" years. Little children are like sponges and they love to memorize. The verses you teach your toddlers will stick in their minds for years to come. In kindergarten, my class memorized a major portion of Hebrews 11 and to this day I retain most of those verses in my long-term memory. Don't underestimate the ability of even very young children to memorize. A 2- or 3-year-old child can memorize whole passages of Scripture. Memorizing is fun for small children.
5. Set a good example.
Let them see you reading your Bible in the mornings. They will automatically pick up on your love for it. Instill a respect in them for your devotional time. When my young ones wake up early and interrupt my Bible time, I try to remind them that this is Mama's most important time of the day because I am learning about God. In addition, my little ones watch the older children read the Word of God in the early mornings. Your children innately know what is important to you and it shapes their own worldview.
These are just five of many ways to teach young children to love the Word of God. If we want them to learn while they are still young to let the Word of God dwell in them richly, we must be intentional with our parenting.
Of course, we should always remember that the end goal is to teach them to love the God of the Word. It is through the Word of God that they will come to know, trust, and worship Him.
What do you do to teach your children to love the Bible at a young age?
Tim and Laura
Timothy and Laura Berrey are missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association. They share a passion for missions which has taken them to several countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They currently minister in the Philippines.
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