Where does a child learn what is in God’s Word?
We are the biggest influence in our children’s lives. There is no getting around that. One of my old churches put together a visual example of how many hours a typical parent spends with their children versus how many hours the church spends with their children. It was eye-opening and it’s so true. Their teeny tiny jar cowered in the shadow of the enormous parent jar. Realize how quickly these hours pour out! We really have a fleeting amount of time to impress Christian values on our sweet ones before they are off on their own.
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Our children need a personal relationship with Jesus. A daily give and take of conversation and learning. We cannot rely on the church to do this important relationship building for our children. My kids (and yours) care more about what their parents say and do than about what a church or a volunteer says or does. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, they are always watching. Your example makes a massive impact. Being in the Word before them speaks volumes. Even if it takes years to see that fruit.
They learn by seeing
I haven’t always been a consistent and awesome example of studying the Bible; setting that example. Day by day and I’m leaning more on studying God’s word. As a kid, I would see my mom during her Bible study. She never ceased to have her morning quiet time with God and her bible. This allowed me to know in the back of my mind, “There must be something good to this!” If I have any questions about the bible, I know she’s a great person to ask.
Being consistent about studying several days a week usually Monday through Friday, is the goal for me. I try my best to protect that time, but life does get in the way some days. There is grace. This is not an “all or nothing” proposition. Any amount of time spent in relationship with God is time well spent! I let my boys know that this is my special time for Bible study – everything else can wait because this is the priority!
Separating it from your school work
When we first started homeschooling, I tried to add Bible study as a part of our school day. Personally, that ended up being a huge mistake for us. I would always do that last because it seemed like it was extra. The regular “school stuff” was more important I thought. In reality, nothing is more important than our relationship with God or our children’s relationship with God. No matter what they learned on the homeschool journey, what is going to matter most is whether they have a relationship with Jesus.
Spending all my time worrying about getting the school stuff done, I would usually drop the Bible study first before anything else. It always seemed like it was our “work” for when we had extra time. I had a friend mention that her in-laws said the most important thing is a relationship with God… Math, Science, English, and all the rest don’t matter in the end. Here is the here’s the thing; those things are great, they are important, but they are not of eternal value! When we made this is a part of homeschool, I was letting it slide frequently. Honestly, because my pride was thinking that I needed to show that I could teach my kids; that my kids wouldn’t be falling behind in their education. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that when my kids go meet God one day, I want them to have a relationship with Him. I won’t be worried about whether they were doctors, engineers, or accountants, etc…
Living on mission
We tend to want to prepare our children for absolutely everything; for any and every job they could possibly have. Jr. doesn’t need to be prepared for every job possible. They won’t be working in every profession. Sure they will be something, yes. Perhaps they may even be a few things over their lifetime. Your children will never be everything under the sun. God has a purpose and a plan for our kids’ lives. If you are a Christian, I know that you believe that. And if you believe that, then you would understand why they don’t need to be prepared for absolutely every profession possible in this world. I am so guilty of being trapped in this mindset too. I’ve acted as though my sons must have to have every option open to them.
Whether it’s mommy guilt or pride, we tend to feel like we must have them ready to do all things. We don’t! Preparation for God’s purpose is all they need. Chances are it will involve their passion so definitely look for their passions! If you aren’t comfortable with child-led learning, that I understand; but whatever God has planned for their life, they will be equipped. One way or another. He will accomplish it. Trust that if the math doesn’t get done one day, or English doesn’t get done next week, it’s okay! The battle is already won. We just need to be still and listen.
Making bible study about work, not relationship
Because it was first to go on busy days, I realized that I was turning God (and a relationship with God) into “work”. Oh my goodness you guys, that was so convicting and really just shocking to realize! I was heartbroken at how much my children resisted studying with me and I don’t know what I could do. Realizing I was making it “work” opened my eyes. Thank you, Lord.
So now we are careful about the way we do Bible study. The way we approach it is to make sure that it a blessing and not an extra responsibility. We’ve started doing our Bible study at a different time than school and in a different place. We do it early in the morning before school even starts. We do it in a relaxed comfortable environment, all cuddled up on the couch, and it’s awesome. Since we’ve made these changes I haven’t seen any resistance. Amazing conversations are taking place instead.
Hopefully, if you’ve been running into the same struggles that I was, this will help your family. I pray you will start to see a turnaround in your life and in your children’s lives. Being in the word is super important to the health and vitality of your family and home life. If there’s anything else I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask! I’m going to link to a few of my favorite resources below for that I use with my boys.
We use and love these studies:
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