Wednesday, January 30, 2008

scripture in parenting

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth."

We love to teach our kids memory verses for many reasons. Some we have taught them just so they can hide the word of God in their hearts. Others we have used to help them see their sins. Still others we teach them to show them God's love, power, sovereignty and mercy.

When I'm teaching the boys scripture, I usually follow a pattern. First I'll tell them that we're going to learn a new verse. I'll say the verse, then ask them if they know what it means. That usually sparks a great conversation and we can talk about why this specific verse is important. Then I'll make them repeat it after me a number of times. If it's a long one or one that has more difficult words, I'll either chant it or sing it or make up simple hand signs to go along with it. Those little things seem to really help the kids retain the verse. We'll keep repeating it until I think they have it on their own and then I have them say it alone a few times. When they have just learned a new verse I like to find ways to talk about it throughout the day. I'll point out situations where it is relevant or just have them say their verse to people we see during the day to really solidify it in their lives.

The very first Bible verse that we taught our children is Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." I worked with Henry on this one when he was two, and it is one of the ones that he has never forgotten. I love this because it provides such a solid foundation to build on!

One of the next ones that Henry learned is Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This one comes in handy whenever one of the kids utters the words "I can't...." Another one with the same theme that I recently gave Henry is Matthew 19:26b "With God all things are possible."

A reminder to be obedient is found in Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Both my boys know this one very well!

Two that both boys have recently worked on are Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without complaining or arguing." and Philippians 2:5 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." These seem to go hand in hand and are repeated in my house DAILY!

One of my sons is a brave little boy who often tries to hide a lot of little fears. One that I've taught him (and remind him of when he is scared) is Isaiah 41:10a "So do not fear, for I am with you," and another is Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield." The past two weeks in church they have been working on another that I really like for these situations too: Ephesians 6:10 "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power."

Okay, I'm almost done here. I'd like to mention just a few more. One that I've just found to use with an angry child: Jonah 4:4 "Have you any right to be angry?" I have a child that I think will greatly benefit from learning this one, but I haven't needed it just yet.

Another two that I think are just great and remind us to be thankful are Psalm 118:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." and Psalm 118:24 "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." I say these two with the boys every single day.

So these are just a few of the verses we have worked on with our kids. Some come up more often than others and those ones are the ones the boys know quite well. Others they might need prompting or a little help with, but they really do understand the meanings.

Are there scriptures that your family uses? I'd love to know which ones are important to you and how you use them in your parenting!


The Secret Life of Kat said...

This post is pure gold. Thank you SO much for putting this together, Lisa!

Anonymous said...

You Go Girl! I love that you are making the Word a natural part of their everyday. We know God's Word does not return void.

When our girls were little we used to play scripture tapes for kids set to music. They can still sing some of those songs. One that we all can sing is set to the scripture of I John 4:7&8 and ended with the quote of where the verses were found. The girls just loved singing as loud as they could, "I John 4 verses 7&8!"

The scripture you first posted is one of my favorites. What a great reminder that God's Word should always be before us in each and every situation.

brickmomma said...

Really great verses. Thanks for the time you took to write this out! I love the angry one!

Marybeth said...

I am so blessed, happy, thrilled that you are a wife to my son and a mom to my grandchildren! I love you!