Parenting with Scripture: It’s Not the Church’s Job

parentingwithscripture book image

Does this article title make you squirm a little because you wish you were doing a better job connecting God’s Word to everyday life? Maybe you just aren’t sure how?

Let’s break it down to the “when” and “how” along with a few pointers, and hopefully any intimidation can be weeded out.

When?
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 gives us a list of times to integrate the Bible into your family life.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them…

  • when you sit at home (think meal times, hanging out, even TV time)
  • when you walk along the road (modern day version = car time)
  • when you lie down (tucking a child into bed or saying goodnight)
  • when you get up (breakfast time)

Did you notice that not one of these times is within the church walls? Hence, God is calling us to parent with Scripture.

Now that you know when…

How?

Turn these times into teachable moments by discussing what God has to say regarding whatever you are talking about. Find topical Scriptures through an easy resource like Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments. This quick reference contains 101 subjects we all face. Each topic is contained on two pages and includes Scripture, discussion questions, and “take action” ideas that can be geared up or down depending on the age or ability of your child.

  • Consider having a family devotional time at breakfast or bedtime. Or, tuck your younger child into bed with a Bible story. Older children/teens may enjoy their own devotional guides. A Christian bookstore can help you select resources to fit the ages of your family members.
  • Watch out for ways media could spur discussions.
    “What do you think about that billboard or magazine ad?” (Possible topic: Contentment)
    “How could that TV character have handled the situation differently?” (Topic: Attitude)
    “What can we learn from mistakes made by that guy on the news?” (Topic: Stealing, Integrity)
    “What does God say about that?”
  • Make use of car time.
    “I’m sorry to hear Sam got in trouble at school today! What would you have done differently?” (Topic: Honesty)
    “What does the Bible say about being thankful? Let’s spend the twenty minutes on the way home going around the car thanking God for something different each time.” (Topic: Thankfulness, Appreciation) Obviously you won’t be able to look up verses while you are driving down the road. Which brings us to the first tip…

Tips

  • If you don’t know what God has to say about the issue at hand, admit that to your child. Ask him to help remind you to look it up when you get home. Resurrect the discussion at dinner or bedtime and share what you found.
  • Consider memorizing verses for topics that come up often so they are there whenever you need them!
  • Remember that it’s never too late to start parenting with Scripture! If your kid or teen looks at you like you have 3 eyeballs, explain that you want to help him see the relevance of the Bible outside of church. And, apologize that you haven’t been diligent about it before.
  • Don’t beat your child over the head with the Bible by parenting with Scripture ALL the time. You want God’s Word to be a positive thing, so be sensitive as to when you’re going overboard.
  • Focus on positive and proactive parenting with Scripture. A good goal is to help your kid see that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Therefore, as much as possible, look for ways to discuss Scripture on the front end of issues.
  • Let your child see you living the example. When you are struggling with something, share what verse is helping you. Tell your kid what God is teaching you through time in His Word. Be quick to praise Him for who He is and for the big and little blessings that come your way.

Hopefully, instead of squirming in your seat, you are now excited and empowered to get started parenting with Scripture! Think about what inspired you most and pray about how God would have you implement it with your family. Baby step by baby step, the Lord will honor your efforts as He promises His Word doesn’t return void.

 

Editor’s Note: We encourage readers to pick up a copy of Kara’s book, Parenting with Scripture. It features easy to use topical resources that parents of toddlers through teens can rely on when teachable moments arise. With 101 alphabetically arranged topics addressing behavior, attitude, emotions, and actions, plus two-page topics that include topical Scriptures, discussion questions, take action ideas, and parenting tips.