"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Our parents want us kids to grow up understanding and wanting to learn more about the Bible. I find this to be a very important part of our everyday lives. I feel it is important because it makes us grow closer together as a family and closer to God.
What does Bible study with so many people at so many different ages look like? I will share a little bit of our controlled chaos with you. We generally do our study in the living room, but we've also done them outside by the fire and even in the park after playing some basketball.
Family Bible Study outside by the fire
We start Bible study by doing a couple of worship songs chosen by us kids. Daddy hooks up his tablet to the T.V. and finds the songs with lyrics on YouTube. We then watch the video and sing along, sometimes the little girls will dance while singing. Worship is my favorite part and I usually have a few suggestions picked for when Dad asks us for ideas.
After worship, we take turns reading from the Bible. We all know that reading happens right after worship so there are always a few kids ready with their hands in the air hoping Daddy will notice them and call on them first. Sometimes Daddy has to gently remind them that he knows they want to read and they will get the chance to. Most of the time we read Proverbs "Proverbs of the day", as we call it. This is when we read the chapter number that corresponds to that day. If we read a chapter a day, we are reading through the book of Proverbs every month.
Everyone gets to read, even Aspen (3 years old). Us older kids usually pair up with the ones who can't read yet. The reader will whisper a few words at a time to the little one and then the little one will repeat it out loud so everyone else can hear. It is important to include everyone so that they will get excited about learning and won't see Bible study as boring and unenjoyable.
The hardest part of Bible study is paying attention. Let's say Daddy called on Karson to read the next ten verses. You know you are going next so you try really hard to keep up. Then Reed comes over and sits on your ankles and sticks one hand in the air saying "yah! yah!" pretending you are a horse. Then Aspen sits next to you with a pen trying to doodle on your Bible. While you try and pry the pen from her, Violet comes over and asks you to open her Bible to the correct spot because her Bible closed, again. By the time you focus on reading again, you have forgotten who was reading and then you notice everyone is looking at you expectantly.
Reed playing horsey "Yah! Yah!"
We don't always do Proverbs of the day though. Daddy sometimes has a sermon that he wants us to watch. The last sermon we watched was about modern Christian families. Voddie Baucham was talking about his views on marriage, discipline, and education. He said something that really stuck out to me. He said that only one kid out of ten stays a Christian after their freshman year of college. Only one out of ten! That is why studying the Bible every day is so important, not just on Sunday and Wednesday.
Watching a sermon. Probably Matt Chandler, or Voddie Baucham, or Paul Washer, or...
After our Proverbs or sermon, we spend time going over what we learned and asking questions. It is very important that we understand what we learned so that we don't have a confused and twisted interpretation of the Bible. Daddy is very good at answering any questions we have. Sometimes Bible study ends up being pretty long because Daddy loves to explain things...sometimes he gets very into it and gets pretty detailed by answering questions we hadn't even thought to ask.
Nearly every Bible study ends up in a discussion of the Gospel. We often discuss how great it will be spending eternity enjoying God and exploring the depths of the Gospel with Him and His Saints. Daddy also tries to help us understand that as children growing up in a family that spends alot of time in God's Word and proclaiming the Gospel, we have a great responsibility to repent and believe the Gospel. We also are taught that repenting and believing are not one-time events, but rather continue in the life of the Christian. We are taught to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12)
When we are done reading and we have all of our questions answered, we close in prayer and then sing Doxology. Every time without fail, Lala (Violet) volunteers to lead us. We memorized this song as a family a couple of years ago so we just sing it a capella, no need for YouTube.
Pastor John Tino from Massailand, Kenya stayed a couple days with us and was gracious enough to join us for Family Bible Study.
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:18-19