Recently, a reader asked about Bible time for little ones, and I gave her a couple of recommendations, hoping that others might chime in – and a few did. But I want to follow up by telling a little more about how we “do Bible time” in our home.
Rather than putting a heavy emphasis on private time with God, we have endeavored to create a culture of worship within our home.
This does not mean that we don’t encourage and require private Bible reading; this too is usually part of the girls’ school day. But it means that the Bible has a far larger place within the family culture. We don’t limit its use to one area of our lives.
All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be
perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
We pray together before each meal and at other times of the day.
We start school each day by reading a chapter of Proverbs together. This is part of the children’s read-aloud practice. Together, we choose a proverb of the day to write on the white board, discussing the implications and applications, and why that particular verse is appropriate to our family today.
Catechism is a regular part of our school.
For writing/penmanship, the girls often copy a Scripture passage.
History and science are done many different ways, but always tie into God’s acts of providence.
The children hear Scripture every time they are corrected, chastened, or rebuked. They are encouraged to use Scripture when admonishing a sibling to obedience. The very young ones sometimes use Scripture to chasten their dolls.
We sing Scripture songs throughout the day, and listen to songs of Scripture on CD. Some current favorites:
- Go To the Ant by Judy Rogers
- O Sing A New Psalm by the Serven family
- Sing Unto the Lord: the Psalms of David for Daily Living
The girls are awakened nearly every morning by their father joyfully belting out, at the top of his lungs, “Arise my Soul, arise! Shake off thy guilty fears!…” He is especially joyful if he can purposely make his voice crack at the word, “guilty.” This is a family tradition which the more mischievous children are already imitating, much to the chagrin of their sleepier sisters. Someday the sleepers will also see the joy in this.
Family discussions around the table deal with issues from a Scriptural viewpoint. Movies are evaluated in light of Scripture. Books and music receive the same treatment. Goals, holiday celebrations, clothing standards, and bedroom maintennance are all filtered through the pages of God’s word.
We have family worship at night.
We have begun closing our traditional Friday Night Pizza Fellowship with hymns, Psalms, and a brief Scripture reading.
We look forward to Sunday worship and fellowship as a fixed part of the Sabbath.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it describes our attempt to write God’s law upon the doorposts of our house, to discuss it when we rise up and when we lie down, when we come in and when we go out…
And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. And you
shall carefully teach them to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in
your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you
rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as
frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the posts of your
house, and on your gates.
We don’t do this perfectly, but we do it self consciously. We want our children’s minds to be so thoroughly permeated with God’s word, so accustomed to thinking within that framework and filtering every thought through it, that they cannot and will not operate outside of it.
Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
We are God’s people. We acknowledge that we (that everything) belong to Him, and our lives are to be dedicated to Him. The implications of this knowledge are not limited to certain spheres of our lives; it affects everything we think, do and say.
Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to
the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
We believe that if a Christian writes a book, it is a Christian book. He doesn’t just dedicate a paragraph somewhere or other to a summary of the gospel. His worldview will – must – inescapably permeate his book.
By the same token, if a Christian makes a movie, it is a Christian movie. Ditto for paintings, buildings, poetry, and animal husbandry. If a Christian fries an egg, he self-consciously fries it to the glory of God. It is a Christian egg.
We are raising children. If we call ourselves Christians, we must raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. In order to achieve this we must soak, simmer, permeate, and pickle them in God’s Word.