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Today, countless parents grapple with crippling anxieties when it comes to teaching the Bible to their kids. They may find themselves fearful of doing either too much or too little, resulting in a sense of being stuck in a no man’s land, where the fear of making the wrong move leaves them paralyzed into inaction.

 

Unfortunately, well-intentioned efforts on behalf of Christian parents sometimes lead to unintended pitfalls that can impact their children’s spiritual development. Listed below are a few common mistakes many parents often unwittingly make. 

Pitfalls to Avoid

  1. Neglecting the Basics

One common pitfall is doing too little. Many parents feel uncomfortable teaching the Bible because they may not prioritize it in their own lives. They may feel unsure where to even begin and, therefore, avoid the topic, hoping that the church will handle it instead. However, relying solely on church instruction can leave crucial gaps in your child’s spiritual development, which leads to the second pitfall. 

 

  1. Outsourcing Responsibility

While church involvement, of course, is critical, parents bear the primary responsibility for nurturing their children’s faith. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

 

Failure to teach the Bible to your children can lead them to perceive Christianity as compartmentalized, applicable only in specific situations but inconsequential in their daily lives.

 

  1. Shying Away from Tough Topics

Avoiding difficult passages can hinder your child’s understanding of the Bible’s depth and complexity. It’s essential to avoid presenting a heavily edited version of God’s word. While certain passages may initially seem unsuitable for children, it’s worth noting that God deemed them important, or He would not have included them. Children are often captivated by stories from the Old Testament and have a genuine hunger to learn about them. Rather than shielding them, engage in age-appropriate discussions to foster a deeper understanding.

 

  1. Overloading with Information

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some parents may err by doing too much. Attempting to cover too much ground too soon can overwhelm children, leading to disinterest or resistance towards scripture. This can involve forcing heavy portions of scripture onto their children or cramming information down their throats prematurely, potentially leading to a distaste for scripture.

Addressing the Root Cause

The root cause behind most of these temptations is often anxiety. This is understandable; we deeply desire our children to walk with the Lord. Moreover, we’ve sometimes witnessed disastrous results in the lives of other children raised in Christian households (maybe even ourselves). This underscores a crucial point when it comes to teaching the Bible or the Christian faith to our children: we can only pass on the kind of faith to them that we genuinely enjoy ourselves.

Practical Teaching Strategies

  1. Lead by Example

Demonstrate authenticity in your faith journey, showing your children the relevance and impact of biblical principles in your own life. Attempting to teach our kids about God while operating from a place of anxiety is ineffective. Even if we believe we’re outwardly “zen,” children can sense our true feelings, which can inadvertently push them away from God’s word. Over time, they may unconsciously associate God’s word with a myriad of nameless anxieties.

 

  1. Educate Yourself

We cannot effectively teach our children God’s word unless we are somewhat familiar with it. Seem daunting? If you feel uncomfortable with the Bible, that’s okay. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow alongside your child—it can be one of the most meaningful bonding experiences you’ll ever have. However, don’t neglect this crucial aspect of parenting. Invest in your own knowledge of God’s word by taking an introductory foundational Bible class, then pass on what you’ve learned to your children as you explore together.

 

  1. Make it Fun

Utilize creative methods such as storytelling, interactive activities, and discussions to bring biblical narratives to life and make learning enjoyable. Numerous Old Testament and New Testament stories captivate the developing minds of children. Engage them by dressing up in costumes and acting out sections of these narratives. Alternatively, create a memorable experience by hosting a biblical feast, where you enjoy a specific scripture alongside the food mentioned. And for simpler moments, gather together on the couch as a family, cuddle up, and read the Bible aloud, fostering warmth and connection. Your children will instinctively associate scripture with joy, warmth, and positivity. 

 

  1. Embrace the Entirety of Scripture. Encourage a holistic understanding of God’s word rather than cherry-picking verses. Just as you wouldn’t overlook the importance of giving your children a whole foods diet, don’t neglect the most crucial aspect of their spiritual nourishment. As human beings, we all require this vital sustenance, and children are no exception. 

 

  1. Just Dive In!

Just start somewhere. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it comes. God cares about this pursuit and will equip you as you embrace it. 

Nurturing the Next Generation: Cultivating a Love for God’s Word

Remember, whatever you prioritize and love will inevitably be transmitted to your children, so make the love of God’s word the foundation of your priorities. Teaching the Bible to your children is a significant aspect of nurturing their faith journey, and your role as a parent is invaluable in shaping your child’s understanding of God and His word. 

At Dream City Church, we care deeply about nurturing the next generation and raising them up in the faith. If you need support along the way, reach out to us at Dream City Church for help and support. To learn more, visit our website or contact us today.

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