How Do Children Learn the Bible?

How Do Children Learn the Bible?

One of the most marvelous passages of Scripture on child rearing is given in Deuteronomy 6:3-9.  “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.  Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”  From this great passage, we are made to understand that children can learn God’s Word in a number of ways.

There is what we might call unconscious teaching.  Children observe our lives, our moods, our reactions, our dispositions.  They absorb and assimilate these into their own lives and personalities.  Someone has said that children read our hearts, not our lips.

There is in the second place what we might call informal teaching.  This is done by talking about holy things as we sit, walk, lie down, and rise up.  The Jews wrote the Scriptures on signs and plaques and put them on their walls and at other conspicuous places.  Some even had them embroidered on their clothing.  These were all subtle and informal reminders of their need to be God-conscious.

Then, last of all, there were those formal teaching situations where prophets or priests or others, instructed by means of the various services, performed in the tabernacle, temple, and later the synagogues.  Certain days had a special meaning.  All males were to attend the three annual feasts.  All of these activities and situations working together impressed upon the observing mind the need to be controlled and regulated by Jehovah.

Today, many of the same kinds of situations are presented to us.  Let us learn to talk about the Bible with our children with the same ease with which we discuss sports activities and other such things.  Let us keep the Word of God before them all the time.  Let us resolve to never miss a preaching service or Bible class.  Let us show them practical ways to put eyes, arms, legs on God’s commandments as we get caught up in helping others.  Let us let God truly rule in our hearts and lives.  The children are smart – they will catch on.                J.B. Whitaker


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