Generation Cedar

Mandi’s question….let’s encourage her!

“I don’t know if this is the place or not but I am really desperate for way s to teach my children basic things about the Bible. I have an 18 mo old and am due in about 4 weeks. I had this training only in Sunday School when I was young and honestly don’t know where to begin with my son. We read Bible stories and sing songs and also have a Scripture singing video he loves, but where do I go from here?”

What could be more important in the education of our children? I submit there is nothing above teaching God’s Word to them. If we can get that right, it will go a looooong way in solving the rest!

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9 Responses

  1. Congratulations Mandi for doing so much already!

    I have 3 small children, ages 1,3, and 5. Something we enjoy doing is having an evening time of worship before going to bed. We sing a song that we all know just to get started then my 5yo and 3yo usually sing whatever is on their hearts! They’ve made up songs about God’s creation and how magnificent He is and about how He is greater than Buddha (we live in Mongolia). These songs move my spirit just as much as the worship songs we sing in church!

    I also read the Bible to my children and not just children’s Bible stories. I compare the Bible to pure breast milk– the best food for my children’s spirits whereas children’s Bible stories are the “baby formula”. There’s nothing totally wrong with giving your baby formula but it will never be as good as pure breast milk!

    Of course, scripture memorization is great and even small children can memorize parts of scripture. The first verse my son memorized was Isaiah 60:1 and he was 3 years old. We’ll soon start working on Luke chapter 2 for the holidays.

    May God bless you as you pass on your faith to the next generation!

  2. Work biblical truth into every area of your life. Just like Deuteronomy 6 says, when you are walking together, when you are lying still, when you are going about your day, when you are working side by side… talk about biblical truth. Teach your children to weave truth into every aspect. When you see someone on a movie/cartoon/video who is disrespecting their parents or authorities, talk about that. “Is that what God wants us to do?” “How SHOULD she have responded when her mom asked her to do that?”, etc.

    There are many good books out there- Teaching BIG truths to Little Kids (I think that’s the title) by Susan Hunt is a way to teach the simplified catechism and is great for family evening Bible times.

    Sing together, pray together… include them in your quiet times. Read them Bible stories and read them the real Bible too… don’t only “dumb it down” for them. It’s OK to tell verbal stories, just as the Israelites surely would have done with their children. But also, they need to HEAR the actual, powerful, unchanging WORD of God. They need to get familiar with the stories of Jesus… the stories of God’s faithfulness (Elijah on the hill with Baal, the Israelites coming out of Egypt, etc.). Teach them all the stories… don’t skip over the hard ones.

    Teach them that God is unsearchably powerful. Teach them His characteristics and display a faith that no one can do anything of value apart from God.

    Teach them to pray for the lost people around them (even if that lost person is grandma!). Teach them to have a heart for the people who don’t get to read and hear about Jesus around the world.

    It doesn’t have to be preachy or legalistic… but make it a natural, faith-filled part of their everyday lives.

    Oh… and like Melanie mentioned… memorization is HUGE! Desiring God has an EXCELLENT resource called “Fighter Verses” and they have a little keyring version with about 100 verses for young children to memorize, with corresponding pictures. They are very easy and practical.

    We do family memorization of longer passages in the evenings. We just started this a few months ago. But so far, we have memorized all of Psalm 1. (you can watch my son say it if you want to) And we are working on the Beatitudes in Matt 5 now. It is so neat to see the Word of God getting into their minds, even though they can’t READ it yet! They can have it with them all the time!

    Anyway, kudos on wanting to do this for your children- you will never regret pouring faith and the Word of God into those little hearts and minds.

    Blessings as you walk the journey we’re all on~
    Jess

  3. Thank you for the encouragement and great ideas.
    Maybe I’m just emotional because I’m so pregnant 🙂 but I just feel so overwhelmed when I realize how big a responsibility this parenting thing is.
    My husband and I just moved 600 miles away from our family, friends and church and it’s been so hard being all alone without a single support person.
    I know that wanting to raise my children this way will be a lonely road, I guess I just didn’t expect it to start this early!
    I’m just so grateful for the great blogs I have found that help me not feel so alone in this journey if only for a moment!

  4. Voice of the Martyrs has some wonderful little books called Kids of Courage. I use them with my 6 kids (ages 6 years down to 7 months). I know the little ones don’t know what is going on, but they’ll catch on eventually. 🙂 There are activities, stories, pictures and so much. I really like them! You can order them from the VOM website. Persecution.com

  5. This topic is dear to my heart. If we do nothing else, instilling the truth and power of God’s Word is our greatest responsibility (as Jess mentioned from Deut. 6.)

    Above all else, I think reading God’s Word, out loud, from the time they are born, is the most important thing you can do for your children.

    The author of “Ten Peas in a Pod” woke his infants up during family Bible reading. His theory was dead on…just like the English language, a baby who is not exposed to the consistent hearing of God’s Word, will find it odd and unfamiliar, and difficult to understand if it is introduced later. Don’t wait until they’re “old enough to understand”!

    Forgive me for the shameless plus, but this is exactly why I decided to record a Scripture Songs CD last year. It has helped us memorize large portions of Scripture very easily.

    We just pop the CD in when we ride in the card, or at night when the children are falling asleep, and the words become part of their hearts.

    Mandi, you are wise to question and consider such an important job in a parent’s life. May we all be challenged to pour the Word of God into the lives of our children!

  6. I think you should feel great about yourself for doing so much to ensure that your kids become followers of the Lord. I am a working mom (not by choice) so my kids have to go to public school. There are no christian elementary schools in the area and I probably couldn’t afford to send them anyway. I feel like an awful parent b/c we rush here and there and then quick dinner, then bed. Even though we read a kids bible at night and pray, I know i need to be doing more. I get so impatient with them and we spend a lot of time arguing.. I need to pray for patience and be a better role model for them.
    Reading all of your ideas and blogs, has inspired me to do more to teach my children how to become loving and wise children in God’s eyes. Keep the ideas coming, especially for working moms that do not spend a lot of time with their children. It makes it harder to make sure they are getting all the biblical messages out of everyday life.

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