Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A light unto his path

First, thank you for all the wonderful comments yesterday. I appreciate your support, prayers, and good wishes!

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I was using a day-by-day guide in praying for my son (and now two children!) This has really helped me to be more focused, and because the guide uses Scripture, it's even better!

Over the weekend, one of the requests was praying for your child(ren) to have a love for God's Word. Eric and I are wanting to be more intentional in talking about and reading the Bible with Nathan, and I could use some inspiration as to what has worked in your family. We have quite a few Bible storybooks, and we read a couple of them regularly, but I don't feel like we've been as purposeful as we could be. (Or maybe I'm making it harder than it needs to be, which is very like me. Ha!)

So, how do you encourage your kids to love God's Word? I'd be grateful for your responses, and would venture that one response could and should be that we love His Word ourselves!

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

14 comments:

Wendi said...

I have some toddler books that talk about virtues. Such as kindness, patients, sharing etc. The book we are currently using is "Kitty Shows Kindness." by Dr. Mary Manz Simon.

All the books start out "Kitty Kitty (or whatever animal is in the book) share today what the Bible has to say." then it goes on about the theme of the book. It ends with a short Bible verse. We have been reading this book for months. Megan now has the verse "Be kind to everyone." 2 Timothy 2:24 memorized.

When she is being friendly or sharing etc I am sure to use the word kindess when I am praising her. When she is being unkind I tell her that what she is doing is unkind and reminder her that we show kindess because that is what we are told to do in the Bible and then quote the verse to her.

I am trying hard not to be a parent that says do it because I say so, but do it because it is what the Bible teaches us.

mom said...

The first thought that came to mind when I read this post was hearing Nathan sing "The B-I-B-L-E" with gusto. :) This is one of those things that is a lifelong pursuit and it begins with, as you said, parents loving and living God's word! Bible stories, songs, and verses are all great ways to make it appealing and memorable. Maybe you could choose a verse or two to start having Nathan memorize -- the first one Dad and I taught you and Monica was "children, obey your parents"! :) Love, Mom
PS: I'm also using that daily guide to pray for all of our sweet grandchildren.

Hayley said...

We are fortunate to have an AWANA program near us, and as kids, my husband and I both went to AWANA, so it is exciting to be sending our kids now! The program has kids' memorize new scripture each week, and then recite them to a leader. We go over these verses every day before bedtime with the kids, and they love it. As a family, we try to read the short devotional "Our Daily Bread" right after suppertime as a family, and then have each person pray. We are not as consistant as I would like to be, but it's something we strive to do.

Stephanie said...

Congratulations on the new little one!

We read The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers every night before bed to our 6yo, 5yo, and 2.5yo. They love having it as part of their daily routine. It has a devotional story, Bible verse (which we recite together), and a rhyming prayer (which we also recite together). Here's a link to it's amazon page: http://tinyurl.com/5vm3zz

Your mom had a great idea of having your son memorize short passages. You would be surprised how much and for how long little guys can remember! Also, setting verses to song is a great way to hide God's word in our hearts.

barbara said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!

OK, this might get long, but I hope it's helpful. I had twins who nursed/bottle fed every two hours until they were 10 months old. I didn't get much done the first year, but it proved to be very productive. While nursing/feeding and playing I would read and sing to them. I made up a song about their names and they could spell their names by the time they were 3. I also used a book called "Baby Bible, Teach Me to Sing and Pray." Some of the verses/poems were songs that I would sing - and the others, I made up songs! We also used a boxed set of miniature books that I would read and sing to them - titles include: Little Things, My Heart, Jesus Loves Me, Close By Me, Help Me Grow, Harvest Time, My Light, Sunbeam, Busy Day, and Little Children. (I'm sure both of these are still available at a Christian Book Store or CBD or possibly even Amazon - I didn't look.)

We take the verses in Deuteronomy 6 to heart -- talk about them (God's commandments) continually unto thy children, when you sit, tarry in your house, walk, go to bed, wake up, etc. It will come natural if that is how they are raised.

I started having them memorize scripture when they turned 3. I would make up songs and teach them that way. I would also write the verses (even before they could read) on foam sheets and cut them out in cute shapes and hang them in a prominent room while we memorized them. Then we moved them to our school room and we review them regularly.

No Greater Joy (.org) has a CD of ABC Bible Verse songs. I've collected a few other lists (one from Focus on the Family) and we memorized them as part of learning the alphabet.

You won't regret a minute of time that you spend teaching your children God's word!

Blessings,
Barbara

thehomespunheart said...

Carrie - We've tried quite a few things as well - but here are my three favorite resources:

The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth N. Taylor, this was suggested by Joy of Joy in the Journey and it is BY FAR the best Bible storybook we've tried. I was getting disgusted with how much of the Bible was left out of storybooks and how watered down and even changed some stories were. We love this one and read it every morning at breakfast - the stories are super short one or two paragraphs and then it has a couple of simple little questions at the end which you can either omit or do based on your preference.

Second, Hide It In Your Heart volume 1 and 2 by Steve Green. Each volume contains one cd and one dvd with the same songs - my girls LOVE these and have been singing Scripture all over the house recently! I love it!

One of the verses is about a broken spirit and a joyful heart - they love to play "doctor" and they say their patient has a broken spirit and we talk about how they need a joyful heart! So cute.

Third, My ABC Bible Verses - Emily knows the A-M verses and Rachel is working on the first one. These are short verses that start with each letter of the alphabet and include a story with each one explaining what it means in more of a child's way of understanding.

Hope that helps - I think the absolute best way is to see that YOU love God's Word and that it is given a priority in your home.

Love you,
Monica

Mom2fur said...

I was just reading the post about your cute 'thrifty' outfit and was so happy to hear your good news! Congratulations on your pregnancy. Stay healthy, take it easy, and let anyone who wants cater to you!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I was going to suggest the Steve Green Hide It In Your Heart cds. My kids loved those when they were younger. And I know it sounds so simple, but read and study Gods word together as a family. When our kids are disappointed or sad, we turn to Psalms, when they're afraid, we look up verses about being strong and courageous and not being fearful. I'm reminded of the Shema in Deuteronomy 6...I can't quote it...but the gist is that you're constantly talking about scripture as a family.

Ewokgirl said...

As you know, I don't have kids, so I'm not going to attempt to give you parenting advice. But I will say that I've watched my sister and BIL with their children. You may not feel as if you're doing much or enough towards this goal, but trust me when I say that Nathan is listening.

My oldest niece named her newest doll Lazarus when she was only 3. My sister was a bit perplexed by that one, so she started asking some questions and got out their little story bible. My niece could answer all the questions asked of her about the story, she pointed at the picture and said, "Lazarus, come out!"

Thing is, my sister didn't even recall having read that story to my niece. But she absorbed it all nonetheless.

Just read to Nathan and talk to him about Jesus; he's listening.

Amy said...

I am currently reading Elizabeth George's "A Mom After God's Own Heart". The first part (I am only a few chapters into it) is all based upon Deuternomy 6. I wish I had more time to tell you about it, but let me just say that it is very good. The book is based on Scripture and is practical. I am thinking about giving it as a shower gift to some new moms at our church!

Krista said...

My mominlaw has the book "Leading Little Ones to God." It's great!

Noel Piper's book about traditions (the name escapes me; I'll google it in a second) talks about quiet times for pre-readers: they listen to some Scripture on a tape. They (the parents) recorded snippets for their kids to listen to during their quiet times.

Treasuring God in Our Traditions! It's great, too.

kelseylynae said...

Carrie,
I never got the chance to say CONGRATULATIONS!! I could not be happier for the two of you. I read your post and I shouted at Brent in the other room and he came running to see what it was...when I said Nathan was going to be a big brother, a huge smile crossed his face too! You two are wonderful parents, and I know Nathan will be a great older brother to a lucky little someone...

I only wish I were closer to lend a helping hand when the time comes! :) Keep me updated, and you are in our prayers!

Abbey said...

There are some great ideas here that we need to try! I'm so glad you asked about this.

I got a book of childrens' prayers for Love Bug's christening. We check it every so often for new prayers to incorporate into our day. I hope we continue to remember these and use these in our lives.

Jamie said...

We read the Bible (we use The Big Picture Story Bible) to Luke over his breakfast. Sometimes it doesn't happen but I try to do it most days! He enjoys it a lot and doesn't normally want me to stop reading! I have to say that Bible is awesome too...it doesn't water things down but it puts it into words kids will understand.