I’ve got a very special guest post today from Keith Ferrin. Keith has recently written a book called, “Like Ice Cream: The Scoop with Helping the Next Generation Fall in Love with God’s Word”. With a subtitle like that there is no explanation needed!
The #1 Way to Help Your Kids Love the Bible
At least once a week, my wife will sigh, roll her eyes, and say, Keith, knock it off! You know the kids are going to do exactly what they see you do! (In fact, it happened last night.) She s right.
It s true, isn t it? In fact, I am blown away by how much they pick up even the littlest things. The way I stand. A certain word I use to describe something. A look. A gesture. It s a bit creepy to be honest.
So why would I think that loving the Bible would be any different?
The #1 way to get your kids to love the Bible is NOT to take them to a good church (though you should probably do that). It s not to get them plugged into a solid children s or youth ministry (though I highly recommend that too). It s not to make sure they learn their weekly verses (again not a bad idea).
Hands down, the #1 way to get your kids to love the Bible is to love it yourself.
Before you say, Yeah, yeah I know hear me out. We say we believe it is true. We say it is reliable. We say it is applicable. But do we loveit? I know I didn t for the first 20 years I hung out with Jesus. And yet take a look at the sentence smack dab in between Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and Impress them on your children.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. (Deut. 6:6, emphasis added)
God knows that if we don t love it, neither will our kids. So how do we do it? First off, this is a long haul issue. If you believe the Bible but don t love it that won t change overnight. That said here are two ideas to get you started.
Idea One: Make an honest assessment about how you FEEL about the Bible?
This is not how you think about the Bible or even what you believe about the Bible. Do you like it? Do you enjoy your time in God s Word. Tell God how you really feel about the Bible. Then tell a friend. Sit down and have an honest conversation with your spouse or small group. Similar to any exercise plan, success starts with assessment.
Idea Two: Stop studying and start reading.
This isn t forever. But it might be several months. Sometimes we get so into studying a book, theme, or person that we forget to enjoy the story. In fact, many of us have never gotten lost in The Story.
It s like analyzing the scenes of a movie before we watch the movie. Absurd. You might learn some things, but it certainly won t be much fun. Don t we do that to the Bible all the time? There are verses we can ramble about forever, but if someone asked what that particular book was about, we d offer a blank stare.
So pick a book a whole book and read it in one sitting. For most books of the Bible this is less than a 30-minute commitment. Or better yet, simply start at the beginning (Genesis, not Matthew J), set aside a time (at least 20-30 minutes) and just read. Don t read all the study notes in your Bible. Just read the Bible. After 20-30 minutes, bookmark the page, and keep going tomorrow.
Watch what happens. It won t take long before you will be enjoying the Bible more than ever. Once you like it more, you ll talk about it more. You ll apply it more. And your kids will notice. And once that happens, the chances of them falling in love with the Bible will have just gone up. Way, way up.
Keith Ferrin is a storyteller, author, blogger, and speaker whose passion is helping churches, families, and students fall in love with God s Word. He holds to the belief that the Bible isn t just true, but it s also heaps of fun. You can see some clips and connect with him on his blog (www.keithferrin.com), Twitter (@KeithFerrin), or Facebook (/KeithFerrin)