Sunday, June 7, 2009

Family Bible Time - borrowed post

This post about family Bible time is from the "Large Family Mothering" blog, featured on the sidebar. It is very encouraging, and hopefully not too preachy for your taste.

Hope you all had a blessed Sunday with your families!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Family Bible time

A thoughtful reader wanted to know about our "Bible time", so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share.

To me, there is nothing more worthwhile than spending one's time in the Word of God. The Scripture says that men's thoughts are evil continually! How do I expect I can think God's thoughts after Him if I do not have any to draw on?

I do believe that the Holy Spirit can impart revelation to our hearts and minds, but we all know there are all sorts of other things roaming through our brains on a daily basis. How do we discern what is and isn't Spirit-breathed unless we have a a standard?

Also, I want to know more about my Father; I want to know what He thinks about things, what is important to Him, what is displeasing, how He operates. I find this out more and more. Of course, I will never fully understand or comprehend on this earth, but the more I read, the more opens up to me.

And it is with this sort of enthusiasm that my husband and I teach and admonish our children. We don't read silly Bible story books, but we read the actual Word, unabridged, out loud with study helps nearby--such as commentaries, concordances, Greek and Hebrew lexicon, etc.

Often I hear parents confess they do not feel worthy or knowledgeable enough to teach their children--this is so far from the truth. Even if a parent doesn't know a lot about the Word themselves, they can learn along with their children, just as in all areas of interest. It is the enthusiasm of the heart that counts.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that man is not the measure of all things, God is. We cannot approach the Bible with a critical heart--we do not correct the Bible, it must correct us. God's thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts! If we find passages that make us feel uneasy, we must seek first to find out all we can about that passage, then realize the Word is always right--no matter if it does not sinq with our own thinking.

With this in mind, we try and spend two times in the Bible daily--once in the morning, once in the evening. I am in charge in the morning, when we are currently reading a chapter of Proverbs and discussing and expounding. In the evening hour before bedtime my husband leads us in reading a chapter through the Bible (we are currently in 1st Chronicles), expounding and discussing, and then reading a portion of a Christian classic book. We have read through books such as Hearing God by Peter Lord, The Knowledge of the Holy and The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, and currently Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. We also spend periods in quiet and shared prayer, and often get out the hymnals and sing hymns a capella.

We attempt to energize and include the children through the asking of questions, having them repeat phrases out loud, doing role playing, etc. It is amazing how much even a 5 yo can take in--our little Faith often astounds us as to how much she retains, and her prayers are so powerful!

Besides our corporate times in the Word, we encourage private reading and meditation--we just can't get enough! Even if our oldest son at home misses a Bible time, he keep up by reading at work.

I am thoroughly convinced that studying God's Word is the most important part of homeschooling. When our minds are renewed, we can organize all of the other thoughts and plans in our minds with optimum efficiency. We can be more creative, more logical, less apt to irrational fears so our minds are more free. This is so important when we try and delve into any other area of academics or interest.

As a youth I spent hours upon hours studying and copying scripture in every spare moment. I know it has helped me as I have faced many of the difficulties of life and had to rely on logical creativity to deal with crises handily. I believe this one factor is the greatest contributor to any successes as the mother of many children.

The other day I was standing in line at the grocery store with my dear son. We were looking at the tabloids and other magazines. It was so wonderful to realize we couldn't recognize the names or faces of those in the news, since we don't have time for that sort of nonsense, but we do have time for the most important things!

Our children are inundated on every side with every sort of cultural degradation. From examining our own family lines, we can see clearly how our Godly ancestors failed to pass on their faith to the next generation, until the foundations were totally destroyed, leaving us with a legacy of brokenness and helplessness. We cannot hope to influence and energize the next generation without fervent, diligent work. A few hours on Sunday will not match the expansive influence of our culture, even if we do homeschool.

When Jesus comes back I will not care if I dress or parent like the "stars". I will not care who will become the next American Idol, but I will be happy to have a lamp full of the oil of devotion and holiness, ready to step into eternity with the Bridegroom.


1 comment:

Carolyn said...

"Often I hear parents confess they do not feel worthy or knowledgeable enough to teach their children--this is so far from the truth. Even if a parent doesn't know a lot about the Word themselves, they can learn along with their children, just as in all areas of interest. It is the enthusiasm of the heart that counts."

Brian and I have heard similar comments like this on several occasions from committed Christian parents and it really grieves us. We have a burden for parents to be discipling their own children, and not just leave the job solely to those of us in children's ministry. I think Satan really wants us to believe we are not qualified to teach our children Biblical truth -- that that sort of thing should be left to the "experts". The Bible speaks of the priesthood of all believers, though.

I am so blessed by the testimony of a friend of mine who is a new believer and a recovering drug addict. She has 5 children, 4 of whom live with her and have given their lives to Christ. She makes God's word a priority in her home. She doesn't have all the answers, but she teaches what she knows. She focuses on the Bible and it shows in her life and in the lives of her kids.