The older I get the more sentimental I become over the littlest things—two of my most prized possessions would mean absolutely nothing to anyone else. But because they mean so much to me, I baby them. I ensure they are well taken care of and I give them a place to rest in my home that is special. When you value something, it becomes a part of your life that nothing or no one else can take the place of—it becomes truly priceless to you. When you raise children in a Christian home, you raise them with the hope that they grow into a deep relationship with God and that it manifests itself in how they act and how they treat others. But in order to grow a deep relationship with God, they first need to value His Word. How do we raise kids to value the Bible?
Why It’s Important to Value the Bible
When I was a junior in High School it was a huge rite of passage to pass the test on the Constitution. As a matter of fact, it was required to pass in order to graduate. Why did the school make it mandatory? Because they felt that if you wanted to guide kids out into society to be law-abiding citizens, they’d have a better chance of succeeding if they had an understanding and appreciation for the Constitution—the “bible” of our country’s laws in the United States.
So it is with the Bible and living a Christian life. You can teach the principles of being a Christian, and those principles can be backed by the Word of God. But our children cannot stand on Bible-based teaching until they value the source.
1. Set the Right Tone
Many times kids are taught rules, or ways of doing things, but the way they are taught or the methodology in which they are taught causes them to ignore the instruction. If you want to raise your kids to value the Bible, you need to begin teaching them at a young age, but you should make sure that the way you teach them is well received. Imagine this scenario: you asked your kids to go clean their room. After several hours, you go to see what their progress is only to find them playing video games while nothing has been cleaned. You immediately begin yelling and telling them how the Bible says that children are supposed to obey their parents and by not cleaning their rooms they are disobeying you. At that, one child says something that is somewhat disrespectful and then you begin yelling even more, telling them that they are supposed to honor you!
This is an example of “not” setting the right tone. What you said is true; however, the way you delivered it will not be well received—it may even hurt your child. (Don’t cringe. We’ve all done this!) So what is an alternative to this scenario? Not say anything?
Of course not, but sitting down with your child, asking them why they haven’t cleaned their room and getting some understanding as to their why will help guide you on how to address the problem. When your child sees that you handle things with love and a measure of calmness and understanding, they will begin to connect that to your walk with God. You can even say to your child, “You know, I’m really not very happy right now. You disobeyed me and you were disrespectful, but the Bible tells us to look not only to our own interests but to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). This situation is not just about getting you to do what I need you to do. It’s about teaching you to do the right thing.
See the difference in the tone set in the two scenarios? You have the ability to affect how children receive the Bible and what it has to teach them.
2. Establish the Bible as a Part of Your Family’s Life
I was raised in a non-practicing-Christian home. What I mean by that is, my parents were very moral, they believed in the Bible and they believed in biblical principles, but they didn’t teach them as if they were connected with the Bible. But, on one of our side tables, we had this huge Bible and in it were some of the most amazing pictures depicting different biblical stories. That Bible was well-taken care of, it was dusted, stayed in a prominent position in our home and sometimes we even read from it—and from those small, insignificant actions, we all grew up to value the Bible. Imagine the effect on your kids if you actually made the Bible an active part of your family’s day-to-day schedule? When a parent models the value of the Bible to their kids, the kids begin to model that behavior without even realizing it.
3. Make It Relevant
Raising kids to value the Bible is more than just integrating it into devotion or Bible reading time—it’s teaching them how the Bible is personal. All of us remember the first time we saved up our money and bought something that was very precious to us. Because of our investment of time and money, we took extra special care of it—it had become something personal in our lives. For kids to value the Bible, you need to make it personal to them and the way to make it personal is to make it relevant to their everyday lives. Imagine a child who grabbed a toy from another child’s hands and began to play with it. That really isn’t the kind of behavior you want your kids to have; however, what a wonderful opportunity for you to teach out of the Bible by showing them the story of the widow who was willing to give her last mite to help the poor. Teaching kids how the Bible can help others, as well as teach us how to be better, will make the scripture a guidebook for their lives. If the Bible becomes their guidebook, it will be highly valued. If the Bible never becomes something personal or relevant to kids, it won’t ever have the value that will ultimately change their lives for the better.
4. Make It Fun
While the Bible is a history book filled with many stories and details that will go right over most kids’ heads, it is also the most epic story ever told and it’s their story, which makes it one we should teach them to engage in and value! The Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids is a wonderful way to get kids excited about the Bible. The Minno Bible’s comprehensive yet fun retellings of the Bible narrative will have kids and parents alike learning and laughing more than they ever have with a Bible in their lap!
Find out more about the Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids—2020 Christian Book Award WInner
Download your FREE Wow & Wonder Summer Scrapbook and Reading Plan for the Bible