936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
It is the subject I am most eager and fearful to teach my children. The ramifications seem high if I screw it up. I wonder how my systems and organizations and methods will either set them up for a firm foundation of faith, or a confused one.
All of this, of course, is my insecurity.
All of this is my doubt.
“I believe, Lord, help my unbelief” asked a doubting father in Mark 9:23.
I echo that prayer every day.
Lord, I believe You can draw my children to Yourself.
I believe You will teach them Your Word and ways.
I believe You will guide them as they grow.
I believe You will fill in the gaps of my weaknesses and misunderstandings.
I believe You will do great things in my children, despite my mess-ups.
Help my unbelief.
Teaching our children God’s Word is an act of faith in itself, one He calls us to in Deuteronomy 6:6-7,
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Showing up with ready hands and a faithful heart to the work God has called us to is always an act of faith. Paul described this in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, in relation to those under his spiritual care, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”
And yet, we don’t show up to a field without plowing tools and gardening gloves. Just like any work, God has equipped us with everything we need. He grants wisdom and knowledge of His Word as we earnestly seek Him.
Teaching biblical truth in our home has come by trial and error. We’ve never been quite consistent at a family devotional time. However, we’ve leaned upon the promise found in 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
We show up every day in faith that God is working in our children’s hearts in deeper ways than we can see or orchestrate, and we come equipped.
As a starting point, we’ve recognized some common misunderstandings that creep into Bible study methods today, and determined to steer clear of them.
Instead, we’re familiarizing them with the blueprint of God’s Word, and how the original context of Scriptures provides every answer we need. When we come to God’s Word in consideration of the context, we realize the fuller power of His Word. We stop diluting His Word by making it say what we think it ought to. We’re not looking at Scripture through the lens of this world, but instead looking at the world through the lens of Scripture. In teaching our children context, we focus on these questions:
Instead, we’re doing all we can to show them that the Bible is one continues story of God’s rescue plan. Everything in it points to Jesus. As Louie Giglio explains in the introduction to The Jesus Bible,
“Jesus’ role in the story is not confined to the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus is as visible on the first page as the last. He is as present in the Garden of Eden as he is in the garden tomb. The entire story points to Him.”
Instead, we’re showing them how the Bible is indeed a gift for our good, and to show us God’s best design for our lives — but first and foremost it is about His glory. Psalm 115:1 says, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
As an author and a homeschooling mother, I have a weakness for gorgeously illustrated children’s books. However, I fear that we have diluted the power of God’s Word by painting a too-pretty picture of its reality. I always think of Noah’s Ark, and the fanciful illustrations of a sun-lit day with animals marching two-by-two, puffy rain clouds, a dove with an olive branch, and a rainbow over fresh green grass. But what about the realities of a terribly lonely family stepping out onto mushy ground to find their world littered with corpses? Stepping out of that ark, although a massive relief, had to have been devastating — and not only to Noah’s family, but to God. Noah’s Ark shows the sorrow and devastation of sin. If we only focus on the rainbow, we miss an all-important lesson about the depth of sin’s destruction, which amplifies the realities of His grace and victory. I want to, in an age-appropriate manner, wade with my children through the ugly parts of the Bible so they can stand in awe of the grace of God.
When it comes to teaching our children the Word of God, I believe it’s incredibly important to consider how we approach the Word of God personally, and the resources we use. Over the past thirteen years I have for the most part used a NASB Strong’s Concordance study Bible that my father gave me as I moved away from home to attend Bible college. It will most likely always be one of my go-tos. However, over the past few weeks I have been using The Jesus Bible Artist Edition by Zondervan and here is what I have loved about it:
A couple of things I miss from the study Bible my dad gave: The Jesus Bible does not include a Strong’s concordance. The Strong’s concordance allows me to look up certain words and find the original Hebrew or Greek meaning. This has become an essential part of my personal and ministry Bible study time. I also miss the cross-references. The Jesus Bible does not show related Scriptures within the text, which makes it easier to understand the Bible as a whole. However, it does accommodate this through the concordance in the back. Maybe I’m asking too much, I imagine if The Jesus Bible had these, it would be far too large or complicated. For now, The Jesus Bible has become one of my favorites for everyday reading, and I’ll just need to find a book bag big enough to carry both it along with my NASB Strong’s Concordance study Bible.
I’m grateful to have received this copy of The Jesus Bible Artist Edition in trade for an honest review as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!