As a mom of 5, our Bible Time has looked different over the years. The last two years we have settled into a pattern that I am loving and the kids seem to do well with too. Since a friend asked what Bible time with our kids looks like, I decided I would share and hopefully encourage you in your Bible time too!
I posted a sweet picture of our 3rd child on Instagram and Facebook prepping the table for our Bible Time mid-morning snack. I am always amazed at how God’s word delivers exactly what we need to hear. On this particular day, we needed to be reminded that we are each invited to feast with God, but in order to do that we need to put ourselves and our excuses to the side.
What Our Bible Time Looks Like
1. It’s Flexible
We try to have our Bible time daily, but that doesn’t always happen. I would say at the moment we are running at a 90% success rate. We typically have Bible time around mid-morning, once all the kids are awake. We have one late sleeper. Since we homeschool, we can be flexible and I really enjoy it.
So sometimes we have our Bible Time at mid-morning, sometimes during lunch, and sometimes we have it at night over dinner with their dad. And other times we do it before heading off to bed.
Again for us, being flexible is key. Every day looks different, but most days, we have it mid-morning.
The location is flexible too. Many times we gather together in the living room, sometimes at the kitchen table, other times on the back porch while they snack and draw with chalk, and sometimes on the school room floor while they are putting puzzles together.
As long as they are paying attention and not causing a distraction, then I will allow them to color, play with legos, or color when I read longer passages.
2. Start with Songs & a Chant
Once the snack has been prepped and my precious daughter, who loves to present the food prettily has done just that, we start to sing. First, we sing the Books of the Old Testament, then the Books of the New Testament.
Then we pat the Bible while we sing the “B-I-B-L-E” song and add “YIPPEE!” to the end. It just makes it more fun!
Then, before I open to the passage we are reading for the day, I say/chant the following:
The Bible is the Word of God.
Everything in it is true.
It tells us all about how much God loves YOU!
Now, that our kids have heard it so often they, I pause and they fill in what I underlined above. Often times, they race to see who can say it the fastest. Sometimes, they finish before I can even start.
Recently, I also started asking if both the Old and New Testament go together or if they should be kept separate. I want our kids to understand this is one seamless story. We can’t just pick up in the New Testament and think we will understand what’s going on. We need to know what the Old Testament says to get a complete picture and understanding of the Bible all together.
3. Fuel the Soul & the Body
I typically present a snack along with our Bible time. This is for a few reasons:
#1 – It helps them gather together. My family eats several times a day. For some the mid-morning snack is what they call second breakfast and they will always come running when food is available.
#2 – They are eager for me to start. Mainly, because they are not allowed to start eating their snack until I have started the Bible lesson.
#3 – This keeps their mouths closed so they can listen better. When you have 5 mouths that like to give commentary, it’s a nice treat to be able to keep them engaged and listening.
4. Now, it’s time for the Bible lesson.
Several years ago, I became convicted about what we were reading for our Bible lessons. At first, I was using children’s bibles. They were ok, but they left out all the good details and even many of my favorite stories.
I believed that it was a good thing to read the whole Bible in it’s actual context to our children, instead of just working on surface details. God is in even the smallest details and I didn’t want them to miss out on his amazing ways by skipping what He has deemed important to share with us.
Of course, I remember praying about this and thinking,
“God, there are some parts that aren’t really rated G but your word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. It is good for teaching and rebuking and our family really needs to be taught, so as we come to the parts where I want to cover their ears, please help me explain it to them in a way that honors you and teaches them how to love you.”
And what God started teaching us was truly amazing!
Now, I will say, that I may wait to read over Song of Songs until their married. That book just might be a marriage gift to them. It’s a great book, but obviously still praying about that one! LOL!
Using a Chronological Bible
We started reading the chronological Bible, which was fantastic for me too. I wanted our kids to understand the timeline of the Bible. I remember being so confused as a kid and an adult about what happened when, so the chronological Bible allows us to read the Bible as one whole story instead of a bunch of little stories.
We have had many wonderful conversations around stories that I may have skipped over had it not been for asking God to help guide our conversations and their hearts.
For example, when we read the story of Lot and his daughters. I remember thinking,
“What in the world am I going to say?”
It was just like the Holy Spirit gave me the words and helped me out.
We read the passage then talked about how God created marriage with Adam and Eve. Anything outside of what that relationship looks like is wrong. We don’t have to talk through every wrong situation and I didn’t even point out the details after reading over it. We simply reflected on that if we know what God is wanting us to do, anything outside of that isn’t following His ways.
One of my older son’s favorite stories is when the ground opened up and swallows Korah alive. Now, that’s a story that definitely speaks to many things, especially how to react in a situation when you don’t agree with the leader God has appointed and how to handle your anger.
I can’t help but think about the richness our kids would have missed had we decided to hang back and wait to expose them to God’s word until an appropriate age. What age is that any way?
Using the Timeline
Every now and then we have to pull out my favorite timeline to figure out when someone lived or what time period an event happened. I love to be able to place the Bible timeline along with what we learn in history, because surprise – it’s all part of the same history!
When we pull out the timeline, I’ll remind our kids that they too are part of this timeline. They are just as important as the people that we read about in the Bible. God has a calling for their lives too. He wants them to share God with others and encourage others in their faith just like those in the Bible encourage us to follow God too.
Reading through the New Testament
Reading through the Chronological Bible with kids takes a looong time. We still aren’t finished!
Sometimes we will read one little passage and discuss it. Other times we will read pages and pages. It just depends on their temperaments at the time and where our conversations take us.
We made our way up past Job and past the conquering of most of the Promised Land. We read through the teachings in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, some of which are hilarious!
Then, I decided to jump to the New Testament. We read all of Acts and now we are reading Luke! LOL!! We totally got that backwards, but that’s ok. I love reading Acts, so we will probably read it again after reading Luke. Then go back to the Old Testament.
I love reading the New Testament in light of the Old Testament because pretty much every principle mentioned in the New Testament can be found in the Old. So we like to talk about the similarities and see the points Jesus makes about each topic.
Family Time Training
We also like to throw in some Family Time Training Activities. They have a free activity every month. But they also have an activity vault filled with activities on almost any Bible subject you might want to delve into and help your kids understand.
5. We Pray
We tend to close out our bible time with kids in prayer. It is a good time to practice letting the kids pray. Allowing them to think of things they are thankful for and who we can pray for, provides glimpses into their hearts. It even lets us hear what they picked up from the Bible lesson that day.
These are the things we do during in our Bible time with kids. Some days go exceptionally well and the discussion flows and other days they are eagerly awaiting when they are excused. But what is important is that they are hearing God’s word. They are being trained to listen to it, absorb it, and talk about it. They are hearing the truth so they will know how to fight the lies with the truth.
Each time you choose to sit down with your child(ren) and study the Bible, the devil will not like it. He will try to make it not worth your time and wish it was just over and done with, but take heart! Getting God’s word into the souls He created is so worth it. When it seems like a struggle, know goodness will eventually come from those moments! May God bless you as you dig into His word with His children!
How do you do Bible Time with your kids?
Check out these great lessons for kids!