Finding truths for teachable moments come easier when a parent is in the habit of studying the Bible. If Bible reading is a daily or even a weekly practice, the Word of God is already on your mind and those truths are gathered much more quickly.
If you need to brush up on some of those long-forgotten verses, or are experiencing Bible study for the first time, two great places to glean practical wisdom quickly are the Gospels and Proverbs. The Sermon on the Mount is in Matthew 5–7; the book of Luke has some interesting parables with profound truths in chapters 10–21; and you’ll want to reread the passion story from John’s perspective starting with the Lord’s Supper in chapter 13 and ending at 21 If you read one chapter a day, in less than a month you can give yourself a refresher course on the life of Christ.
The Proverbs are also conveniently sectioned into bite-sized chunks, and there are 31 chapters. Reading one chapter a day will literally give you the wisdom of Solomon!
If you’re involved with the Bible and your kids, the two can easily come together when you use teachable moments to pass on the knowledge that you have learned from your own personal Bible study.
For a complimentary copy of the Gospel of John, visit www.pocketpower.org.
Adapted from The Power of Teachable Moments by Jim Weidmann and Marianne Hering, Copyright © 2004, Focus on the Family.
Your child’s schedule probably already includes bath time, nap time and bedtime. But there’s always room for five minutes of Bible time. No child is too young to learn from the most important book in history. Here are some pointers.
Set a routine for Bible time. Try to have it at approximately the same time each day, perhaps after breakfast or before snack.
Sing fun songs. Bible songs sold on cassette or CD at Christian bookstores can get you started. Enjoy clapping and jumping.
Read from a children’s Bible. Use a toddler or picture Bible. Keep the stories short. Some children enjoy holding the Bible while you read. Using a puppet to tell the Bible story is always a treat.
Introduce additional material. Bible coloring books are a great way to share a story. You may want to read a holiday book depicting the story of Jesus at Christmas or Easter.
Toss in real life. If the Bible story contains any objects you have in your home, use them. Visual aides make the story real to a child. If you are reading about Noah’s ark, pull the cushions off the couch to make a boat, then bring aboard all the stuffed animals.
Include a memory verse. Pick a verse from the Bible and repeat it each day until your child memorizes it. Practice by allowing her to fill in a word that you leave out. Reward her with a sticker, then move on to another verse.
Make prayer easy. In the beginning, you’ll have to model a simple prayer. For example, “Thank You, God, for sunshine. Thank You for today. Amen.” After a while, ask your child if there’s something she’d like to pray for.
Be patient. Occasionally, Bible time may have to be cut even shorter due to a sleepy child or a bad day. The goal is to stay committed to providing as much of a positive Bible routine as possible. It will become a part of your child’s day that says, “Let’s take time to have fun with God!”