Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How To Pull Application from the Bible

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How do you bridge the gap between Bible stories and applying biblical principles in preschool-aged children?  How does a Bible story transfer to immediate obedience? 

This two-fold question was asked on our SISTERS Facebook Group a while back.  Such great questions and ones that all parents struggle with.  How do we make the Bible real to our children so that it impacts their lives for eternity?  

Beginner's Bible

Give Your Child a Solid Foundation 

There are a plethora of Children's Bibles available to help children understand some of the tough concepts in the Bible.  Click to see a list of our favorites children's Bibles.  Choose that one that looks best for your family and read a story each morning during breakfast or before bed. 

If you'd like more, the soon-to-be released 1 Year Curriculum introduces the child to Bible stories.  The 2 Year ABCJLM Curriculum teaches toddlers that Jesus loves them.  The 3 Year Curriculum lays a foundation of Bible stories.  Character education is the primary focus of the 4 Year ABCJLM Curriculum.  Pulling out the positive and negative character traits of Bible characters.  For example - Joseph's forgiveness towards his brothers.  The 5 Year Curriculum helps the child see Jesus on a more personal level. Each curriculum provides activities, memory verses, and color sheets to further the learning.
Teachable Moments

While reading the Bible with our children is so important, bridging the gap between Bible stories and application comes through normal day activities and conversations.   We have to take advantage of the teachable moments that arise throughout the day.  These are the points where we can bring Scripture and Bible stories into what we hear, say, and do. This is how to make the Bible practical.

Example #1:  While on a walk, you see a bird that has fallen from his nest.  Discuss how it says in the Bible that not one bird is forgotten by God.  And then, how much more God loves us!  He knows how many hairs are on our head!  Then later, go to Matthew and show the child the verses in the Bible.  (Not sure where they are?  Make Google your friend.  Google:  Bible verse sparrow - or whatever the topic is.)

Example #2:  Little Man was lecturing his little brother on not clearing off his plate and silverware when Little Man had just been disciplined for not putting his clothes in the laundry.  He and I read from the Bible and discussed Jesus' words about pointing out the speck in another person's eye when a log is in yours (Matthew 7).

Read more about the what, when, where, why and how of teachable moments.

First-time Obedience

In the last few weekly Periscope Broadcasts/YouTube videos, we have been discussing first-time obedience.  This is another aspect of pulling application from the Bible, because as we teach our children obedience, we are teaching them obedience to God.  As they learn to respect us, they will respect God.  As they learn to love others, they will learn to love God. 

Watch the Parenting series to understand what God has called us as parents to do and the importance of teaching first time-obedience {also see how to teach it}. 

By Example

Our children learn about Jesus by watching us live life.  I don't know if this makes me feel scared or encouraged!  But it goes back to the old adage, "Jesus is caught more than He is taught."

Our young children will never apply biblical principles if their examples aren't living out those principles.  If the Bible is not my guide for obedience, how can I expect the Bible to be a guide for my children?
  • Do I obey what the Bible says? 
  • Do I love, forgive, and have self-control? 
  • Is the Bible truly important to me and do I start each morning gleaning from it? 
  • Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus or is my Christianity surface and all about rules?
You're Not Alone

Above all, I praise God that we do not have to walk the parenting journey alone.  The Holy Spirit will guide us, if we listen.  He will point out the teachable lessons throughout the day.  He will remind us to read the Bible to our children and give us the wisdom to answer their questions.  He will give us the strength and wisdom to know how to train and discipline our children.  He will guide us in our own quiet time so that we can be changed into the godly person we desire.

Just think...who desires us to make the Bible real to our children more than God?  No one!  If it is that important to Him, we know for sure that He will guide us each step of the way. 

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.