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Total Saturation – Tips and Tools for Discipling Children

March 24, 2010
Evening Bible time with Daddy

I’m writing this post as a response to a number of emails and questions I have had over the past 6 months regarding what we ‘do’ and what we ‘use’ with regards to teaching and discipling our children in the Word.

I ask that you read this as if you have joined us on our journey, at the onset of an amazing adventure where we are just at the beginning, I don’t speak as a mother who is particularly ‘seasoned’ but merely learning at the feet of Jesus, humbled by our responsibility as parents to our God given gifts.

We are where we are ultimately because of the awesome grace of God – he has taught, directed and realigned our thinking and life so much over the past 3 years that our family and home life does look very different Praise God!

I’ll be straight with you from the beginning – we don’t use much more in our home than THE BIBLE!! The Bible, the whole bible and nothing but the bible (well there a few other little ‘helpers’ we use…more about that later), not a kids bible, not a ‘Veggie Tales’ bible (sorry!!); just The Bible!

We as parents are given this instruction from Deuteronomy:

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut 6:6-7

that’s pretty much all the time right?

The Word of God is not only vital and pivotal in our parenting – it is VITAL; there is no parenting ‘guru’ or ‘super nanny’ who can direct us and shape the future of our children’s lives like the Bible!

We need to saturate our children in HIS words at every given opportunity.

Proverbs tells us to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

and Paul gives Fathers this instruction in Ephesians:

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Eph 6:4

Dave and I feel strongly that even from a young age we don’t want to ‘water down’ the truth of the Gospel to our children, there really is no need to ‘dumb down’ the Word of God; children have soft, open hearts and really do understand more than you realise.

It may take time to adjust as a family but just reading a little bit a day then discussing it together is a precious and life shaping experience.

My husband is amazing at teaching the Bible to our children; I LOVE our family times together at the end of the day when he reads, asks questions, explains and then we pray together. My parents did this when I was a child and I remember those times fondly; they shaped and directed me in my walk with God.

So what do we do?

Well, as a home educating family we do have a bit more time and flexibility in our morning routine but I know Mothers who do this kind of thing before the school run etc.

As soon as I come downstairs and we’re all milling around getting ready etc I switch on the computer and put on Daily Audio Bible, even if we only hear snippets I love waking up the day to the sound of the Word of God.

After we’ve had breakfast and I’m on my second cup of tea (!) we then pull out our Bible (in a year); in fact it’s the exact same one as Ann Voskamp has photographed in her amazing blog post today; and this year I’m just reading through the psalms and proverbs. Next year I plan to read the whole of the new testament to the children. After we’ve read that, Nyah pulls out our character study for the day; at the moment we’re using ‘A Childs Book of Character Building’ by Ron and Rebekah Coriell. It’s a very simple but concise study to follow which Nyah can read aloud to us; we learn the definitions and discuss the stories every day. When we’ve finished our reading we pray together then tackle chores (which is character building in itself!!).

In the evenings after dinner is eaten and cleared away we all ‘land’ on the sofa with Dave (or most of the time on Dave!) where Dave reads the bible to us as a family; at the moment we’re reading through the letters of John and loving it; sometimes we play worship songs or soaking music and we always pray before sending the children off to get ready for bed!

Of course as well as all this we are talking about life with Jesus when we sit at home and when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up.

There are lots of amazing resources out there which can guide us in teaching our children the Word; one inspiring home educating family (with 14 children) have hoards of fantastic resources on www.thelearningparent.com to help and inspire parents in teaching and discipling their children; they have written lots of their own stuff as well as stocking other resources which they recommend. Watch out for comments on this post; I’m hoping Lucy will give a few recommendations that she has used recently.

Please feel free to comment and share any helpful resources you’ve come across to inspire us in discipling our children in our homes.

“May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favour on us” Psalm 67:1

Blessings
Leah

P.S Okay, so after totally dissing ‘children’s bibles’ (you’ve got to admit some of them are awful!!) I must say that we love this, Nyah is reading it on her own and can’t stop talking about it!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2010 3:14 pm

    Thanks- I will take a look at that link.I think some of the children's bibles are pretty lame, like one sentence to sum up a whole story?Jessie is enjoying reading from her good news bible, it is the bible, but it has some lovely illustrations within its pages.Ellie cant read yet, but holds her bible and follows along the text (bless)A recent purchase is found @ http://rebekahknight.blogspot.com/2010/03/teaching-children-values-in-home.htmlThis is a good book of values..Thanks for the input, its great to learn off one another and share ideas etc.x

  2. March 24, 2010 4:45 pm

    Taaa Daaaaa !! Here I am !! GREAT post Leah and yes yes yes http://www.thelearningparent.com has some amazing resources….however the number one resource as you clearly stated is THE BIBLE …if that is all you have, or can access or afford you will not go far wrong….however we have made an effort recently to allocated some money to some quality resources and have found the ones that the learning parent recommends or stock to be BRILLIANT ! LOTS of character training tips and LOADS of resources and ideas to get 'hands on' with the job of raising godly children. I am always looking for tips and tried and tested products that parents of over a dozen children have loved…makes me think "that must be good if the seasoned large family rates it and their children have all grown up and are walking with God !!! hehe"…anyway the proverbs kit is brilliant as are the products from they word creations…..we also LOVE the busy bible, yes it is a childrens bible Leah…but Tilly aged 22 months is not quite reading yet LOL ;)….I am not much of a fan of kiddy stuff either when it comes to God's word I think it is important to not dilute it or hide it in a cartoony (although I do LOVE dreamworks animation 's Moses and Joseph films) or 'crazy' way…sure make it is fun and exciting….but in my opinion it is FANTASTIC just as it is..sorry HUGE comment there will be quiet now…byeeeeeeeeeee x

  3. March 24, 2010 4:49 pm

    Sory..just one more thing…we also recently got these AMAZING books called 'character sketches from nature' you can get them from amazon.com or the ATI website….they look at an animal from nature and then a character quality thay it displays and then it links in a biblical character who had this character trait and challenges you to display this character…we are working on attentivemess this week..like the white tailed dear….sooo good…we are planning our next years curriculum around these 3 books….they are GREAT !!! All done for now until I think of something else haha

  4. March 24, 2010 4:53 pm

    This is great Leah! We are really thinking about & doing discipleship in our own family and in the congregation we are leading. We have the Jesus Bible Story Book and love reading it together, in fact I was just going to post a book recommendation for it on my blog! I look forward to more conversations together about discipling. Bless you & your wonderful family x

  5. March 24, 2010 8:54 pm

    We really love the Jesus Storybook Bible too. I love how every story points back to the rescuer and our need to be rescued.We have enjoyed the Cathrine Vos story bible at different times too.I did a search for the character book you mentioned. And there are no peeks inside. Is it mostly just a read aloud story over a particular character trait? I am looking for something along these lines.

  6. March 24, 2010 9:11 pm

    Thanks for comments ladies; love being on this journey with you all!Bex, you're doing such an amazing job with your daughters; inspire them in the prophetic as you have been inspired and watch them bloom :)Aha lovely Lucy (you really need to start your blog!!); I knew you'd come up with the goods; and absolutely I agree; if a family with 14 Jesus lovin children use it then we'll give it a go! Thanks for the recommendations – and if anyone wants to ask Lucy anything else about 'The Learning Parent' email me at homegrownbabies@gmail.com and I'll pass it on to her!Sandi – thanks so much for your comments and popping by. The character book is really simple; four stories for each character trait with a picture to colour in if you wanted. They look at the character through Jesus' example, through play, in 'school' and at home. They are easy to read and I use them to trigger our own discussion. Good for younger children.Kathi – would LOVE to talk more…would love to hear your thoughts on how you are pulling together encouragement for parents in the church; praying for Gods wisdom and inspiration for you guys as you lead others in it.Blessing Leah

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