Christian Parenting and Family Resources with Biblical Principles

10 Ways Parents Can Engage Kids with God’s Word for Life

  • Meg Bucher (Megs) Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
10 Ways Parents Can Engage Kids with God’s Word for Life

Parents and guardians cannot claim to know how God is going to bloom the seeds of His faithfully planted and watered Word. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it,” (NASB). The word “train” in the original Hebrew means, “to train,” but also, “to dedicate, inaugurate.” (Strong’s Concordance #2596) Inaugurate means to make a formal beginning of, and this is where parenting plays an important role.

Parents have a responsibility to teach children the way of God. Despite our best efforts to immerse them in the Word, there is a lot we don’t know, and cannot predict, about who our children will become. We don’t know how they will rebel or what adversity they will face. But we can make sure they have access to the Truth in His Word. The living and breathing Word of God begins to impact our children from the moment we begin read it to them, pray it over them, and declare it over their lives. Even though we often don’t know how, introducing our children to the Word of God is one of the best ways to train them up.

Here are 10 ways parents can engage kids with God’s Word for life.

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1. Read the Bible yourself.

1. Read the Bible yourself.

The best way to set an example of reading the Bible daily is to do it, ourselves. The Hebrew word for “way,” in Proverbs 22:6, is defined as a “way, road, distance, journey, manner, habit, course of life, moral character.”(Strong’s Concordance #1870).

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6 (NASB).

As parents, it can be tempting to believe that we must have all the answers, or we’re too scared to read the Bible with our kids, in fear that they’ll ask a question that we don’t have an answer for. But God is just asking us to obediently show our kids the way to Him. Their observation of us reading the Bible everyday does just that.

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2. Live like you depend on God’s Word.

2. Live like you depend on God’s Word.

Life within the love of Christ begins with the daily pursuit of Him in the Word.

In John 15, Jesus told His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing,” John 15:5.

Our children see best why it’s beneficial to read the Bible as they witness its constant effect on our lives. For example, when we apologize to them for overreacting, or turn immediately to prayer when something goes wrong (or right!) As parents, we don’t have to be ready to rattle off memorized Scripture to our children. It’s awesome if we can, but it’s more important to live out the lessons God is teaching us, daily. When His Word is the foundation of how we handle things, our children will see His Truth coming to life in our lives.

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3. Read kiddie-size daily devotions with them.

3. Read kiddie-size daily devotions with them.

Daily devotional books are a great guide to help understand how to apply God’s Word to our lives. There are devotionals that cater to almost every interest and age group, even the tween years. The apps are endless, as well, for those that like to read on a tablet rather than a traditional book.

Being able to read a real-life application of Scripture on a child’s level is helpful for them and for the parents too. I often relate to and am ministered to by my daughters’ nightly readings just as much, if not more, than they are. God’s Word is powerful to speak directly into our lives.

As Queen Esther was placed in her position for such a time as this,”so are we in the spot we are sitting in right now. And so are our kids. When we sit with them in the Word, we are seeking Truth and directions that cannot fail us.

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4. Give them a kid-friendly translation.

4. Give them a kid-friendly translation.

Beyond just a daily devotional, our children need access to the whole Bible, in a translation closer to their level. Whether you choose an app or a physical book, there are many children’s versions for all different ages and phases. Some Biblical stories, words, places, and names are hard for kids to read. Finding a relatable translation, or even a paraphrase alongside the text, can help them better understand and apply it to their everyday lives.

The Bible is for everyone, even tweens, teens, and people in their twenties. As their parents, we can seek to provide them with a version of the Bible that will speak right to their heart and meet them in the current phase of their daily lives.

Children will grow from picture versions of the Bible and puppets acting out Bible stories to facing bigger problems like bullies and bad news. But as they grow into bigger bodies and understand larger words, God’s Truth remains the same.

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5. Take advantage of your church’s kid’s ministry.

5. Take advantage of your church’s kid’s ministry.

There’s a sense of comfort in dropping my kids of to our church’s kid’s ministry program every Sunday because I have hope that the teachers will fill in what I missed (or completely messed up.) Children’s Ministry volunteers pour their lives into a passion to see kids move one step closer to God; take advantage of it! Shake their hand and ask them for guidance. They are a great resource for parents.

Some churches provide a daily devotional for the week following Sunday’s lesson. Parents can play their favorite worship songs in the car or at home. There is an app that my church recommended to me years ago called Parent Cue, that tells how many days we have left to make it count before our kids graduate high school. It provides applicable Scripture for what they are most likely going through at this stage in their lives as well as helpful advice for parents to come alongside their children.

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6. Notice the other books they read.

6. Notice the other books they read.

It’s a lot easier to put books that contain Scripture in front of our kids when they are little. Begin the habit of discussing what they read at a young age, asking questions and answering theirs.

Whether we raise advanced readers or those that could take it or leave it in exchange for a tablet, what they are reading matters. It’s important to be aware of the content our kids are ingesting, especially at a young age. There are a ton of amazing Christian authors that write great fictional stories for kids. Reading alongside mainstream media allows children the opportunity to gain a broad scope of different views and stretch their imagination. But if a questionable title comes home in their book bag or shows up as recently downloaded, be prepared to take it!

Be prayerful and choosy about what your child is reading when they are little, but leave room for discussion as they get older. A controversial topic might be a great springboard for a discussion that helps them grow, but we have the right to remove any material that is beyond their maturity-level to digest.

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7. Pay attention to their music – it matters.

7. Pay attention to their music – it matters.

What we listen to has the potential to become the soundtrack to our thought-life. I remember being livid when my parents returned a box of CD’s I had ordered from one of the popular music “10 CD’s for a $1” clubs of the 90’s. And as soon as moved off to college, I re-purchased and had them mailed directly to my mailbox there! I was mad, but they were right to protect me from what I didn’t know when I was younger.

We don’t have to play worship songs every time our kids are in the car. Thankfully, Christian music exists in so many genres. My youngest daughter loves hip-hop, so we blast Christian hip-hop music. Even Kidz Bop is great, because they get a flavor for what’s “cool” without experiencing the damage that profanity does to their little ears.

As they get older and start to disappear into their earbuds, the choice will be theirs. But we can lay a lot of good ground work when they are little by letting the Truth be their soundtrack.

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8. Speak the truth of the Bible over them in daily prayer.

8. Speak the truth of the Bible over them in daily prayer.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

When we live our lives in a posture of prayer, it sets a good example for our kids. It may be boring for them to hear us say “pray about it,” or “pray it out” constantly, but the truth is there is nothing more powerful for us to do than to pray.

In Luke 22:44, Jesus prayed to the point of agony before He died, setting the tone for prayer’s place in our lives. “Pray without ceasing,” Paul implored in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Stopping to pray with our children in everyday moments models for them how easy it is to talk to our loving Father. It also helps to set habitual times to pray, like before meals or bedtime. But also, set the tone for certain moments. When my daughters are nervous before a competition, I pray over them and remind them to pray before they hit the stage. Or, when my daughter wakes up scared at night, I remind her to pray, “God is bigger.” I pray that it becomes a go-to routine for them when they are nervous or scared. Just by praying, we are speaking the Truth of the Bible over their lives at any moment.

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9. Set family rules according to God’s standards.

9. Set family rules according to God’s standards.

Every house needs some rules, and the closer we can align them to God’s Truth, the better off we are at attaining success! “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you,” Exodus 20:12. The rule above all rules is the reason we follow the rules.

There is a Scripturally based acronym that I printed off long ago, and it helps my family to remember what type of speech is acceptable, both inside our home and outside our walls. “T.H.I.N.K.”

T- Is it True?

H-Is it Helpful?

I-Is it Inspiring?

N-Is it Necessary?

K- Is it Kind?

We don’t have to have the whole Bible memorized to lead our children well in Scripturally based truths. We just need to go to God daily with hearts ready to take His direction and lead our children to His feet.

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10. Give your kids notes of encouragement.

10. Give your kids notes of encouragement.

A great way to share Scripture with our kids is by leaving encouraging notes for them from time to time. Whether packed in their lunch, left on their pillow, or sent in a text; a note of encouragement goes a long way. We don’t have to be Bible scholars in order to find verses to pray over our kids or write to them.

Here’s a great tip to make this easy. Simply do an online search for a topic or a verse you are looking for, then click images. Pick one that stands out and print it or screen shot and send it. When our kids get old enough for social media, we can teach them to be good stewards and lights by sharing Scripture in an encouraging way.

Meg Bucher (Megs) writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, https://sunnyand80.org.Her passion is to encourage others to seek Him first. She’s a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer and blogger, Bible study and children’s worship team leader, residing in Ohio with her husband of ten years, two dancing daughters, and their Golden-doodle.

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