Scripture says parents need to disciple their children and teach them the things of God (Deuteronomy 6:5-7; Psalm 119:6-16). The reality is that sometimes we are just short on time. How do we squeeze a family Bible study into our already hectic days?
Here are some steps you can follow. Think of it as a goal. If you don’t hit every step each day, that’s fine. Just be sure to pray and read the Bible. Try to hit the others as often as you can.
- Find a time to do it. This could be at breakfast or dinner, sitting in the parking lot before school, just before bed, or anywhere in between. It can be different times each day or the same one. I do recommend, however, deciding the day before when you will have your devotional so it becomes a priority in your day rather than an afterthought.
- Read the Bible. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Just read from God’s holy Word.
“The words I speak are like that. They will not return to me without producing results. They will accomplish what I want them to. They will do exactly what I sent them to do” (Isaiah 55:11 NIRV).
- What kind of Bible? That depends on your family. There are lots to choose from on the YouVersion app or biblegateway.com. Story Bibles are nice for very young children, but family Bible study time is a great time to introduce your kids to the whole Bible. Let them touch it. If they are old enough, let them read it aloud. If your family is new to reading the Bible, I recommend starting with The Living Bible or The Message.
- What do we read? It doesn’t have to be long. You might try slowly working your way through a book. Boys love the book of Judges with all its battle scenes. It’s also a great place to start talking about following God rather than the people around you. The gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) are other good places to start.
- Discuss what it means. Breakdown any big words or confusing language. (We do that once a month on Parent Road Ministries’ blog.) Write down questions you can’t answer and take them to people or sources you trust.
- How does this apply to you? Ask your kids what they think of when you read this passage. What can we learn from this? How can we use what we’ve learned in our lives?
- Create an action plan. What will you do to put into practice what you have learned? Try to make one goal a week. You can check your progress the other days.
- Pray together. We can’t do any of this on our own. Christians rely on the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-27). What better way to teach your kids how to pray than by praying with them? It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, once they are comfortable, let your kids pray. Just talk to the Father.
- Work on a memory verse (Psalm 119:11). This could be a verse a day, one per week, or just a bit at a time until you have it learned. Set realistic goals for your family and work toward them.
- Live out what you learn. Bible study doesn’t have to stop when you close the Book. In fact, it shouldn’t (James 1:22-24). How can you continue to talk about what you are learning? When can you practice saying your verse together? What opportunities do you see to remind your family to live out what you are learning? Make it a game and involve the whole family.
- Discuss what each person remembers from Bible study over meals.
- Say one word of your verse for each step you take up (or down) the stairs.
- What other ideas can you think of?