“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching…” 2 Tim 3:16
How and When
What to do first? Pray. Pray and ask God what He wants you to teach each child. He is the master teacher. Ask Him how to do it. He is the author of creativity. He will give you all the creativity you need.
After prayer, the Lord showed me that my daughter’s first Bible verse to learn would be Mark 12:30 (also in Matthew): “And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”
She was 18 months when we started doing this. The only thing from this verse she could say was “heart.” So I taught her hand motions for love (arms over chest), God (hands raised above head) heart (touch heart), mind (touch temple), and strength (make arm muscles). We practiced doing it until she could do it by herself. My son learned the same verse when he was 16 months.
Now at 3 years old, this is the verse I cling to to teach her about life. Every night after we pray, I tell her that God has a special plan for her life. All she has to do is love the Lord her God with her heart, soul, mind, and strength. And have compassion for others. My husband and I agree that if our children learn nothing else, these two most important commands will be enough.
I got the how answered. Now I wanted the when answered. I remembered Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Talk about them with your child:
“when you sit at home”:
-playing in the play kitchen, digging through the tupperware drawer, coloring, folding laundry
“when you walk along the road”:
-walking through the grocery store, picking up toys in the living room, waiting in the doctor’s office, driving to the park
“when you lie down”:
-putting pajamas on, saying bedtime prayers, before nap time
“when you get up”:
-getting dressed, while you are putting on makeup, brushing hair, eating breakfast
Like farmers, we are planting. Planting seeds into our children. Life giving seeds. It’s hard work. We plant and plant and may not see a harvest for quite some time. I was very wisely told that farmers do not put down seed and expect a crop the next day. They work hard and wait patiently. (James 5:7) I pray I am diligent in teaching His word to our children. I pray that I work hard at it every day.
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.” Ecclesiastes 11:4-6
Don’t wait for the perfect time to start planting. Start TODAY.