It’s your job to raise your children to love the Lord. God directs all parents on how to instruct their children in the Word:
“6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
Worship and living in God’s word are essential components of Christian family life and should be the central foundation of your home. However, it’s not always an easy assignment.
Little ones have short attention spans and get squirmy, while older kids get bored easily. Changing your routine can make things fun, and make family Bible study a time everyone can enjoy and learn from.
1. Get Comfy
Sitting at a table feels too much like school. If you typically have your family Bible study in this structured atmosphere, it’s time to change your location. Head to the living room and spread out on the couch. Make a cozy spot on the floor using pillows and blankets. Your kids may have an easier time listening if they feel relaxed.
2. Try a Different Translation
The standard translations for families are the New International Version or English Standard Version, but your kids may need a less challenging text. You can use a kid’s Adventure Bible, which is in an easier-to-read format.
Alternatively, you can rely on a simplified version like The Message. Giving your children agency to read the Bible independently is an essential skill they’ll need as they grow in Christ.
3. Let Your Kids Lead
No matter their age, your kids will become more invested in the family Bible study if they have a choice and voice. Give them options for what they’d like to learn next.
Older kids would also learn well from taking charge for a night. They can prepare a discussion and lead the family in worship, study, and prayer.
4. Play Games
A central problem in getting kids to sit still and participate in Bible study is their energy levels. To facilitate this, start your time with an activity or the promise to do one at the end. You can use traditional outdoor games to expel extra energy or transform classics like cornhole and croquet into memory verse review or Bible trivia.
5. Raise Your Voices
No, don’t shout at your family — raise your voices in song. For those days when nothing in the world will get your kids to sit still and study the Bible, you can use the lyrics of hymns and faith-based children’s songs to instill the Word of God in their hearts.
6. Get Artistic
Drawing and acting are new ways to engage with family Bible study. Print coloring sheets for kids to work on while you read the Bible or to focus their minds during discussion time. Teens or older children who enjoy being artistic might also enjoy their own Bible with space to doodle or add illustrations.
Young ones especially will enjoy acting out scenes from the Bible after a study. It allows them to work out some energy and cements what they’ve learned.
7. Add Multimedia Resources
Bring scripture and concepts to life by adding multimedia resources like videos and models to your family Bible study. The whole family can enjoy kids’ movies like Veggie Tales, while older ones can witness the impact of films like The Passion of the Christ.
Maps and models are helpful tools you can sprinkle in to make things make sense. Have a map on hand when studying the split between Israel and Judah, or view 3D renderings of the temple to make the words come alive.
8. Get Out in Creation
What better place to study God’s word than out in creation? Once in a while, combine your family Bible study with a nature hike.
Pick a trail with diverse scenery and obstacles. Your kids will love to climb on rocks and jump off tree stumps. Set an end destination your family can enjoy, like a swimming hole or little waterfall. After you arrive, complete your study and go for a swim, or play a game as a reward before returning home.
Let Go of Perfection
The best thing you can do for your family Bible study is to change your expectations. The kids will always have days where they struggle to pay attention and resist your best attempts. It’s okay — let go of your ideas of perfection and do your best with what you have. Leave the rest to God.