Teaching (or, should I say, “teaching”) your children (and yourself) Scripture

Luke Holzmann, over at SonlightBlog, posted recently about teaching children the Bible.  He asked readers how they handle it, and offered his own suggestions, including, “Read commentaries, talk to friends and teachers, consider the context and the rest of Scripture, look up articles and, again, read the passages themselves.”  My comment got kind of out-of-control long, and when I got done, I thought, “That would make a pretty good blog post in itself.”  So, here it is:

My mother read two chapters from the Bible every night (except church nights — Sunday and Wednesday) to the four of us siblings for my entire life, while I was living at home.  She’d finish Genesis, then on to Matthew.  Then Exodus, then Mark.  And so on.  I knew the Bible better than just about any kid I knew because of it.  She never offered any commentary, but she would answer questions when they came up, and, in retrospect, I think she did a bit of editing on the fly for some of the stickier bits.

I will never forget the day when I was 16 and a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses came to the door.  No one else was home at the time.  There was a man who did all the talking, and a lady who hung in the background, who looked increasingly ill at ease as I countered the man’s statements, suggesting to him that he was wildly (but craftily) misquoting virtually every verse.  In exasperation, and with an air of condescension, he finally said, “Fine.  You know so much?  You find it in your Bible and show me.”  I asked him to hold on, fetched my Bible (which had a concordance), and did just that.

Although I really enjoy conversations with my children — scriptural topics included, I think that, most of the time, if we just keep exposing our children to Scripture, that, eventually, it will sink in, as maturity unfolds, and as God’s Spirit speaks to our children’s spirits.  They will get to know His nature and His ways, if they just READ, and/or if we read to them.

I don’t read a lot of commentaries.  I do appreciate good Scriptural exposition, and can get some good, meaty info out of Greek/Hebrew word studies.  I also enjoy historical studies, which lend a deeper insight into one passage or another…  But, still, I predominantly let the Scripture stand for itself, asking Him, as I start to read, “What is it You want to tell me in this? Please don’t let me miss anything.”  I see the Bible as, in essence, a love story, with God revealing Himself to us, Jesus’ bride and the Father’s children.

I TOTALLY think that God and Scripture can stand up to scrutiny, and sometimes, it can be really helpful to unpack a particularly troublesome verse.  However, it is my observation that too many people — Christians included — get caught up in dissection, instead of simple contemplation, led by His Spirit.  Then, reading the Bible becomes simple knowing ABOUT God, instead of KNOWING GOD, Himself.

It’s a fine line.

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 10, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and an erstwhile birthing class instructor. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on May 2, 2011, in Character Development, Christian Living, Christianity, God/Christianity/Church, Memories, Parenting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing this! Your story about the JWs is very encouraging. It has been interesting to interact with the JWs we’re meeting with right now. It is very interesting to see how they read passages totally differently from me. It’s nice to have a fairly strong background in Scripture to lean on while chatting with them. And I like your point: “I TOTALLY think that God and Scripture can stand up to scrutiny, and sometimes, it can be really helpful to unpack a particularly troublesome verse. However, it is my observation that too many people — Christians included — get caught up in dissection, instead of simple contemplation, led by His Spirit.” It is a fine line I’m still trying to sort out myself.

    Thanks again for writing this up!

    ~Luke

  2. Thank you for sharing. Very encouraging. I’m reading the Vos StoryBible to my kids right now and thoroughly enjoying it. I hope when I’m done we can read straight from scripture, but I think this is giving us a great overview of God’s Word.

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