All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Last Friday, I shared how our family created a Mission Statement and list of Values; then developed a group of 12 scriptures which supported our goals. This became our scripture training program. Here’s how we did it:
- Monday mornings, we read that week’s verse and talked about its meaning.
- We thought of ways the Word applied to our daily lives. When I used the New Living Translation for Phil 2:3-5, this caught Gracie’s attention: Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. She remembered “that boy Jake” who dared her to sneak off the preschool playground; she got in trouble because she was trying to impress him. People, she was four then! Thankfully, she is not so interested in impressing boys these days.
- We practiced each morning. We repeated the verse four or five times at breakfast, and then a time or two in the car, as I drove Gracie to preschool. We took one verse per week.
- I have a terrible memory for the citations of verses. I can tell you a verse – but not where it came from. So I drilled the kids on this; they practiced knowing the verse if I asked the citation. They also had to know the citation if I asked them the verse.
- We regularly reviewed the previous weeks’ verses too (two-three times per day).
These scriptures were our own personal, and modern, version of Deut 6:4-9: We talked about them when we were at home and when we were on the road, when we were going to bed and when we were getting up. We looked for application of the Word in everything that we put our hands to, and in everything we thought about. We posted the memory verses on the refrigerator and hung them on the bathroom mirrors. We brought them in the car via flashcards and sticky notes on the dashboard. All of this was teaching, intentionally.
But God always provides other wonderful opportunities to teach about His Word, in the midst of living. I read in Lou Priolo’s book, Teach Them Diligently, (my favorite book on biblical parenting) about the term “teaching in milieu”. It means teaching “in the middle of” or “surrounded by” life circumstances. He says:
[address] from the Scriptures the actual situations your children are facing morning, noon, and night…discuss with your children the relevancy of Scripture not only to all of life’s situations, but while you and they are actually in the midst of those situations (pg. 16).
Some people call these types of events “teachable moments”. I used to call them my “last straw” or my “getting on my last nerve” moments. Then, I learned to de-personalize. I began to see teaching appointments and opportunities to apply scriptures we learned, to problems or other life events.
This was a stunning realization: God was providing me with opportunities. My outlook on “behavior problems”, “discipline issues”, and “character development” was forever changed. Knowing God plans my parenting and gives me specific opportunities so I can teach (or learn!), has given me more patience than I ever had before.
This knowledge shifted the focus off the kids, and me, to Him. And it reminds me that, in every situation or encounter, I am accountable to Him. Parenting my kids was shaping my character! This was an epiphany for me: God’s age-old plan of parents teaching children about Him is meant to draw the whole family closer to Him.
Next time we’ll talk more about the application of Scripture. But now, tell me: how is God drawing you closer to Him now?
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!