Why do we want our kids to study the Bible? Why do we search for the best Bible study for kids that we can find? Why do you desire these things? I think it’s because ultimately we know it’s both our privilege and responsibility as parents to teach our kids. But the best isn’t in a resource or curriculum or program.
Embracing the responsibility of discipleship.
Yes, we are given the great honor and responsibility of discipling our children. A disciple is simply a learner. When we realize this, we are faced with the fact that we are always teaching our kids something, whether we intend to or not.
And that is why discipleship starts with our hearts. The truth is, God can reach the hearts of our children without us, but His design is to use us. Wouldn’t you hate to miss out on that chance, or even worse to hinder it? We can’t control the outcome—whether they will believe in Him and trust Him. But we can be faithful to do what He has called us to do. And what a privilege it is!
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. —Deuteronomy 6:4–9
As a Christian homeschool mom, you’ve probably already embraced this verse and treasured it in your heart. Though written specifically to the nation of Israel, this verse sets up the idea of discipleship.
Often we focus on the fact that we teach them as we sit and walk, when we lie down and rise. We have to spend time with them in order to do that, and homeschooling give us the opportunity to do just that.
But did you notice the rest of that passage?
It says YOU shall love the LORD God with all YOUR heart, soul, and might. YOU shall keep His words ever before YOU. His words shall be on YOUR HEART.
Learn to disciple your kids from Jesus.
In Luke 6, we find Jesus teaching His disciples, “And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon… And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said…” — Luke 6:17, 20a.
Over and over He points His disciples to the heart of the law. He calls them to go beyond following the traditions of men and to love and obey God with their whole hearts.
And it is in His teaching in Luke 6:39–49 that we can find some keys to discipling our own children.
Why the Best Bible Study for Kids Starts with Your Heart
1. We need to see in order to help our kids see.
He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” —Luke 6:39–40
These verses echo the idea we saw in Deuteronomy. Our words and actions teach our kids what we believe about God and His Word. If we aren’t living by faith, how can we expect them to? If we don’t obey God, how can we expect them to? If we don’t make studying His Word a priority, how can we expect them to? (I think you get the idea.)
It would be as if we were blind while trying to lead the blind.
Do you want your children to be fully trained? Then they will need a trainer. (Really all the best athletes have a trainer!) And who will train your children if you don’t? Do you want your kids to be like their teacher? Their first teacher is you, but ultimately it is Jesus.
2. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives through the Word, we can more easily discern the spiritual needs of our children.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. —Luke 6:41–42, emphasis added
How can we take the speck out of our own eyes? It starts with being in His Word. When we are in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit guides and teaches us, he convicts us of sin and teaches us about the grace of God. Hebrews 4:12–13 says,
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. We may think we can hide our sin from our children (and even ourselves). But we cannot hide it from God. And He has chosen to use His Word to reveal those things that direct our actions—the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.
He wants to show us our sin, so that we can repent—change our mind—and live as light in this dark world. And when we do that, we will have the eyes to see the spiritual needs of our children more clearly. We will have compassion and grace for them because we understand His grace more fully. We have an experiential knowledge.
3. Our words have a powerful impact on our kids.
For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.—Luke 6:43–45, emphasis added
Imagine that your heart is a treasure chest. Over time you fill it. Sometimes with jewels (good treasure), and sometimes with rocks (evil treasure). In this life, there will be a mixture of both.
Now imagine if I told you to scoop up a handful of the rocks stored in your treasure chest and throw them at your kids. Would you do it? Of course not! You wouldn’t want to hurt them.
But that’s exactly what we do to our kids and other people when our words come out of the “evil treasure” of our hearts instead of the good. We wound and tear down instead of encouraging and building up. We hurt people. Because out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths speak. So what will you choose to fill your heart with the most?
Fill your heart with God’s Word. Remove the stones and replace them with beautiful jewels. Because what is in your heart will come out.
4. Our kids live in our “house”.
Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great. —Luke 6:46–49, emphasis added
Homeschooling allows us to do life with our kids. They will see first hand the storms that hit us. And the storms will come. I’ll never forget the advice our pastor gave us when my husband was laid off from his job of almost 20 years. He told us to allow our kids to see us work through that time—to allow them to see how we responded and where we were going to place our trust.
When we come to God, hear His words, and obey him, we have a solid foundation. Our house is not shaken because it is built on the truth of the Word. And that can be one of the most powerful teaching resources we will ever share with our kids.
What is the best Bible study for kids?
Dear Mom, the best Bible study for kids is you. You learning and teaching right alongside of them—as you rise and lie down. When you sit and walk along the way. From your heart to theirs.
A Bible Study for You and Your Kids
This is why I’m introducing the Bible Study Journaling Series. I want to help equip you to teach your kids from an overflow of your heart. And I want YOU to have a growing, deep relationship with your Savior. Homeschooling is hard. Life is hard. But you have a God who loves you unconditionally and will supply you with the strength you need.
Because the best Bible study for kids isn’t a particular Bible study or resource. It’s not about finding a great curriculum. It’s about teaching heart-to-heart.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.