Every Christian parent wants their children to begin life with a solid foundation in the Bible. Children with this foundation will become adults who build upon that foundation. You want to give your child every opportunity to learn about God’s love and how to apply the Bible to the situations they face. In order to make an impact on your child, it’s important to learn how to teach your child to study the Bible.
Read The Bible For Yourself
One of the best things you can do to teach your child to study the Bible is to model Bible reading yourself. Your children are watching everything you do and it’s only natural for them to copy you. This is evident even in little babies. Children who see their parents reading the Bible will gain an interest in what their parents are doing. Because children love to have stories read to them, your children will eventually ask you to read something to them from what you’re reading. When your children see you reading your Bible, you will convey the message to them that reading their Bible and learning what it says is important.
Use Age-Appropriate Bible Story Books
There are many great books on the market with Bible stories that have beautiful pictures to illustrate the story. These books are designed with children in mind to connect with them on their level. The Mini Ark Online Bible Storybook is a great site you and your child can access together and experience Bible stories in a new way. Having the story illustrated right in front of them helps the story to come alive. Because the Bible is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), do what you can to make it living and active to your child. Bible story books are a great way to teach children to read the Bible because they learn well from the lessons other people have learned in their lives. Stories are also useful reference when your child faces a problem. For example, if your daughter is nervous about making a speech in class, you can talk to her about David and Goliath and how David trusted God to help him slay the giant. No problem is too big for your daughter if she trusts God to be in control.
Ask God For Understanding Together
Prayer is a great tool, however it’s something that we sometimes forget to use when teaching our children how to read the Bible. Before you begin studying the Bible together (or reading a Bible story book together), take some time to talk to God. Ask God to make the words you read real to you and to your child. Ask Him to give you both understanding and to help you to use what you read together in the future. Doing this not only shows your child how important it is to ask God for understanding when something in the Scriptures isn’t clear to him or her, but it also models to your child the importance of talking to God for the purpose of having a relationship with Him.
By modeling Bible reading to our children, using story books and through prayer, you will lay that Biblical foundation for your child with ease. You will demonstrate that studying the Bible is important, and your child will also feel comfortable coming to you with any questions or concerns he or she might have along the way. Remember to stand on the promises of God: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Laying the foundation early for your child’s spiritual life development is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Children need to grow up experiencing God’s Word at a young age as part of their normal, everyday life.
As a mother, you have the opportunity to model what that looks like for your child throughout your own walk with God, as well as deliberately incorporating specific times during the day to read the Bible. You can also discuss various Bible stories and personal applications regarding what was read that day to your own child’s life.
Regular Bible reading for family times should be a consistent part of your daily routine. For some, this means the father reads a passage around the dinner table from the Bible, and then the family discusses it during the meal. For others, this could be having a morning or evening family devotions time where the Word is read and family members discuss what it means to them in their lives.
If you have very young children, still allow them to be a part of these times, even if you are unsure whether they understand the content yet. By exposing them to the Bible being read and having devotional time being a part of their daily routine, reading the Bible on their own as they get older will become a natural part of their walk with God.
It is also very important to read Bible passages and stories to your children no matter how old they are. Bible reading for family time at night can be done as part of the night time routine. Many parents do this by purchasing a children’s Bible and reading from it every night before bed. This provides the opportunity to talk about the stories, the people present in them, and what God did in all of those situations. It also allows for personal application and a strong segue into nightly prayer times.
If you have older children, let them read to you from their Bibles and then discuss the themes from each passage with them and any questions they might have. The Mini Ark offers free Bible stories – features fully illustrated that you can use during family devotional time and for children to read.
Finally, as your children grow, it is important to teach them how to read the Bible on their own. You can do this most effectively through letting them observe your own devotional time, and then setting a specific time each day for their own devotions. When your children are a bit older, a kids’ study Bible will be a wonderful tool to use, as they typically include easy-to-read and understand passages, as well as relevant life applications and spaces for children to write down comments and questions. Equip them with a kid-friendly journal where they can think, reflect and pray about what they’ve read, and also provide them with a highlighter so they can highlight and underline verses that are especially meaningful to them.
The key to helping your children learn to read the Bible is to have devotional time and study opportunities be a regular part of their everyday lives. Children learn best through modeling and consistency, and your influence as the parent will have a great impact on their overall walk with God. Bible reading for family time and devotions will have an eternal purpose in the lives of your children.
Children today need Bible truths more than ever. Most parents know Bible reading for family is essential but sometimes it is hard to fit into the busy schedule. That’s why The Mini Ark Online Bible storytime is so helpful. You can read your children with family Bible stories that are fun, beautifully illustrated and available on-the-go.
Bible Reading for Family is Important¨
While children can have great Bible teaching in Sunday School, they need more than just that one hour a week to really know God’s word. We believe that Bible reading for family is such a vital part of your week. Since children love to hear good stories read over and over, it isn’t hard to do Bible reading when you have beautifully illustrated and clearly written stories that can be downloaded to your phone, iPad or android device. You can read the stories to your children while waiting at the doctor’s office, between innings at the ball game, or even while stopping for a fast food lunch on a busy shopping day.
Parents Can Use Stories to Help Talk about Important Truths
Bible reading for family members to share together opens up opportunities to talk about how the truths of these stories impact our lives. Talking about the sin of Adam and Eve helps children to understand that we are all sinful and separated from God. By hearing about Noah’s faithfulness, we can teach our children that they can be faithful and trust God no matter what. Children learn that God loves them and cares about all their needs when they hear the stories about Jesus as a healer and teacher.
New Free Bible Stories Every Month!
Every month, our writers and illustrators at The Mini Ark are producing new stories to add to our storybooks collection, but you can start viewing and reading the available online storybooks now. You can share with your children about:
- The Creation of the World by God.
- The Story of Adam and Eve and sin.
- How Noah was faithful in building the ark.
- Jesus’s birth and his family.
- The Temptation of Jesus and how he resisted Satan’s schemes.
Tips for Bible Reading for Family
- Start by asking your child to look at the pictures on the page and tell you what they see.
- If they know that Bible story, have them tell you what they remember.
- If they are a beginning reader, let them find some words of the page they know, or point out one or two important words you think they could recognize.
- Read the story to them with plenty of emotion!
- After you finish the story, ask them questions about it.
- You can also ask them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.
Follow Up with Fun and Games to Reinforce Bible Reading
The Mini Ark has online games and print-outs to help you reinforce Bible reading to your children. You can be assured that letting your children play at The Mini Ark will be a safe and enjoyable way for them to learn about the Bible, and understand more about God’s plan for them and your family.