Learning the Bible

DiscipleshipTools

I am continually amazed at how well the above items do in teaching the Bible to our children. Our two youngest children use these three items every night as they fall asleep. And they have come to know the stories of the Bible very well, even at a young age.

The first item is a DVD filled with 450 dramatized stories of the Bible. Each story is about 6-9 minutes long. All in, there are more than 56 hours of Bible stories. The cost is $49 delivered to your home. You can purchase it here.

The second item is a Sansa Clip mp3 player. We have placed all of the Bible stories on the mp3 DVD onto the Sansa Clip. Each night, we begin playing one of the stories and put this on sleep mode, so it turns off in 30 minutes. The mp3 player that we like costs about $40. You can purchase it here.

The third item is a pair of speakers. This allows the mp3 player to be heard in their bedrooms without ear buds. I remember picking up some at Walmart for less than $10. If you want to purchase it online, you can here. Or, you could use some old computer speakers that you have.

So, for less than $100, you can give your children a robust knowledge of the Bible. Be warned, they may soon become more familiar with the stories of the Bible than you are. If your children are older (or you have no children at home), you can always use these yourselves to learn the Bible.

She Got the Part!

Several of my children are in the midst of performing the play, “Beauty and the Beast,” with Christian Youth Theater, a theater program for children ages 8-18. They have twelve performances over the next two weeks.

My youngest daughter’s dream is to be Belle, the beauty, who learns to love the beast. However, since this is her first play that she has ever done, and since she is only eight years old, she knew that she would never get the part. She’s hoping for another opportunity in the next decade.

Here’s the cool part. After casting the show and working through many weeks of rehearsal, the directors decided that they would like to open the show in real life with a father and a young daughter. Since my daughter is one of the smallest girls in the show, she was selected to be the little girl.

The little girl will come with a book in her hand (Beauty and the Beast), which she requests the father to read to her before bedtime. Then, the show fades into fantasy land as the play is performed.

The final scene of the show comes back to the father and the daughter. Here’s their dialogue:

Isabelle: Oh Papa, I love that story

Dad: Papa is it now?

Isabelle: Is that OK? (With a shy tilted smile) If I call you Papa?

Dad: Sure sweetie that’s just fine. … Off to bed we go Isabelle.

(Taking Isabelle by the hand and heading to a stage left exit)

Isabelle: Papa, … it’s just “Belle” now.

Dad: (With a knowing chuckle) So it is. … Come on then BELLE, it’s off to bed with you my BEAUTY.

So, my daughter did get the part of Belle after all!

 

First Time and Every Time

The Biblical standard for a child’s obedience to his parents is simple: they should always obey. Colossians 3:20 says, “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things.” That means first time and every time. Children are not to obey in some things. They are not to obey in most things. They are to obey in all things (unless, of course, a parent’s command violates Scripture).

I remember a pastor making an interesting observation of parents dealing with their children. He said that when teaching discipline to their children, parents often teach arithmetic. By this, he meant that often, parents employ a method of counting to inform their children of upcoming discipline. A father tells his child to come. When the child is disobedient, the father begins counting, “1 …. 2 … 3 … 4 … 4½ … 4¾” and surprisingly, the child comes just before the father reaches five. This is because the child knows that number five is where discipline begins. In so doing, parents often teach their children not to obey on the first numbers, but only on the latter numbers.

But the Biblical standard is clear: first time and every time.

Such a standard ought to cause us parents to take great care in the things that we tell our children to do. We must be reasonable in our instructions to them, expecting them to obey everything we say. We must smother them in love, so that they know that we aren’t merely making our children our slaves.

 

Wet Cement

Children are like wet cement. They are very moldable and able to conform to their surroundings. But, as they grow older, they begin to harden in their ways. There become hardened in their ways. At times, they reach a point, where nothing you do can change their behavior.

The obvious point of the illustration is this: be diligent with your children in their younger years to train them in the ways that they should go. This is the wisdom of Proverbs 19:18, “Discipline your son while there is hope.” If you lack the diligence when they are young, all hope may be lost as they harden in their ways.

 

Time With Your Children

Perhaps the best parenting advice that I can give you is to spend time with your children. Spend much time. Spend quality time. Talk with them. Teach them. Learn from them.  Show interest in them. Play games with them. In so doing, convince them that you love them. 

Many times, this can take place in the flow of life, like in the car.  Over the years, our children have enjoyed playing, “The Alphabet Game.” Oh for a sign like the one above!

Showing Love

For many years our children have asked me if they could have a dog. I told them no. I have given then reasons why: our life is busy enough as it is, without a dog; a dog will require more cleaning around the house; a dog will restrict us in our freedom to leave home for long periods of time (or even days for a short trip); finally, a dog is a lot of responsibility. Even though I have said, “No,” the requests have continued to be made to me. My stance has become quite public as my children have shared it with their friends or with people at church.

My oldest two children have seemed fine with my constant refusal to get a dog. But, my 12 year old daughter was never content with my answer. She looks at the ads in the newspaper every day, looking for a nice dog to purchase. She also looks up pets for sale on craigslist on a daily basis. Well, her constant requests and her clear passion to have a dog finally wore me down. I gave in. We purchased a Maltese Bichon puppy a few days ago.

It’s my way of showing love to my daughter.