One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

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Get the Word into Your Kids
By Julie Ferwerda
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family devotionsWhen Bill and Kristi Gaultiere of Irvine, California, were trying to decide how to raise their three children in the faith, they noticed that the Bible uses the word "Christian" only three times, but the word "disciple" occurs over 200 times. After careful study, they realized that a disciple of Christ is someone who is really serious about his or her faith, so they began looking for ways to raise disciples, not just Christians.

Discipleship is in essence training, not just teaching. The parent who trains, first explains to the children what to do (teaches), then shows them by example how to do it (models), then follows through to make sure the children implement and practice the behavior (holds accountable). Only when we follow this model can our children truly be empowered to become disciples.

So as the Gaultieres committed to discipleship, they started with the usual stuff—attending church, praying with their kids at bedtime, and fellowshipping regularly as a family with other close-knit believers. But they also came up with three additional practices for their household that have made an amazing difference (all three are mentioned in the book). Here is one of them:

Walk them through the Bible: There's only one way to get the Word of God into your kids and that is to get your kids into the Word. When the Gaultieres were frustrated with the selection of family devotionals on the bookstore shelves, Bill came up with his own simple but effective method. He picked out 365 verses, one for each day of the year, and put them into a three-ring binder. Each verse was simple and short, yet was tied to a crucial principle for being a disciple of Christ. Bill notes that you can also choose themes for each month, if you prefer, selecting a verse for each day on a particular topic, such as "principles," "promises," or "disciplines." After the notebook was put together, Bill let his kids use their creative art skills on the binder and pages so that it became a fun, family keepsake.

Devotions over dinner are the best time for their family. They try to keep them relatively short and to the point so that the kids are impacted by God's Word without losing focus. They also ask their kids questions about the verse to get them thinking about what it means and how to apply it to their lives, with the parents contributing simple examples from their own lives as well. Lastly, they take turns each evening, ending the devotion time with prayer.

Many parents do not feel qualified to teach their children from the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth! That's exactly what Satan wants you to believe. If you can read, you can teach. In fact, the best way to learn is through teaching. There are many resources and wise guides available to help you teach your children. And Bill reminds parents not to worry about missing a day here and there. The most important thing is working toward consistency.

 

*This excerpt was taken out of One Million Arrows, chapter 5, "Shaping Arrows at Home."

About The Author

Julie Ferwerda with orphanJulie is recognized for making the Bible exciting and relevant to everyday life through her writing and speaking. Her articles are featured in many Christian magazines and websites for both adults and teens, and she frequently volunteers her time and talents to international orphan ministry. When not doing all these things, she lives by her mantra: Life is short, nap hard. Learn more at: JulieFerwerda.com »

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