How to put it into practice when you sit, when you walk, when you lie down and when you get up.
I have been blessed to homeschool our children for the last four years. The Word of God has been a major part of our homeschool day, starting with quiet devotions in the morning and spilling over into every subject – handwriting, history, and language arts. If someone asked me about how we spend time in the Word with our kids, this would be my response, “Here and there, throughout our day, but mainly as a part of our school day”.
This fall, our two older boys will be attending traditional school for the first time since preschool. We know this is where God has led us in the education journey and honestly, we’re all really excited for this new adventure! But, it has made me consider how we will make time in the Word together a priority once they are in school most of the day.
We have let the Bible be our guide for how to use the Word in our family:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Spending time in the Word with your kids doesn’t have to involve flannel graphs and songs with choreography. In fact, in Deuteronomy we are taught that God simply wants us to keep His Word at the forefront of our family life – as we walk and talk and go to sleep and wake up again.
Every part of the day as a family is an opportunity to spend time in the Word together, whether the Bible is in front of us or not!
Let’s focus today on those four times mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 to help us be intentional about sharing Scripture with our kids.
Here are four ways your family can put God’s instructions in Deuteronomy 6:7 into practice:
Deuteronomy 6:7 – When You Sit at Home
While there isn’t much explaining to do with this one, there are a few scenarios that are perfect for this, like dinner time. I know we have busy families, running here and there for activities at all hours, but coming together for dinner and talking as a family is so important and healthy.
Perhaps at your house breakfast is the one meal where everyone is home. Or maybe it’s dinner. Whatever meal it may be, include the Word in your discussion by opening or closing the meal with a devotion like the Once-a-Day At the Table Family Devotional. This book opens with conversation starters for family talk, then a Verse of the Day Scripture Reading, followed by a related devotional and closing prayer.
In our house, my husband and I are always done eating long before the kids, so while they continue to eat, one of us reads a Bible verse or devotion and opens up some discussion about it. If meal time doesn’t work for you, use some creativity and try finding another time when you know everyone will be present in your home.
Deuteronomy 6:7 – When You Walk Along the Road
I interpret this instruction as talking about Scripture and incorporating it into your life as you go about your daily activities. ! But you don’t have to be sitting down with a Bible in front of you to talk about God’s Word with your kids.
Right now I’m helping our nine-year-old train for his first 5K (at his request), and our time running together is great for discussing Bible verses and even memorizing them. You can talk about Scripture with your kids while you do chores or bake or play a game. As Hebrews 4:12 says,
The Word of God is alive and active
and it can be a part of our active lives.
Deuteronomy 6:7 – When You Lie Down
Bedtime is a tried-and-true time to read and pray with your kids. I know putting your kids to bed isn’t always relaxing, but there really is nothing better than ending your day with your children focused on the most important thing in your life – God. Choose age-appropriate devotions or Bible stories, both in subject and length of time, and spend the last part of the day talking about how you’ve seen God at work in your lives that day.
Read & Share 5 Minute Bible Stories are so perfect for this time of day with little ones. Kids already have such short attention spans (I have a three-year-old and know this VERY well), but five minutes is doable for everyone!
Deuteronomy 6:7 – When You Get Up
I think this is my favorite instruction from Deuteronomy 6 that we will try to start and implement with the new school year. It’s too hard to develop new habits in the summer! It’s not going to be easy, and not everyone is a morning person, but I want us all to start the day focused on Jesus and give God our first moments of the day.
For your kids this may mean reading devotions on their own in the morning. Or get creative! There are so many other ways to start their day with Scripture! You can put post-it-note Scriptures on the bathroom mirrors, or use the free printables – 52 Scriptures Every Kid Should Know – from the book, I Can Learn the Bible, and leave them on your kids’ breakfast plates!
I’m stealing the idea from friends of doing a car-ride-to-school Bible song and worship time together and praying just before they get out to tackle the school day!
Deuteronomy 6 encourages me to be creative and intentional about spending time in the Word with my kids, but it also reminds me I don’t have to do anything elaborate. The Word of God needs to be part of our daily comings and goings together. That’s how He’s always wanted it.
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There are so many ways to help our kids spend time in God’s Word, but I’m curious, what has been most effective and fun for your family?