Using Grace Verses with Children
How to Use Grace Verses in Instruction of Children
The Grace Verses are a wonderful means to share the Word of God with our children. Breakfast time or supper time, riding in the car, or any time in which the family is together would be a good time for instructional conversation about the Grace Verses. Below are a few tips to remember as you share God's Word with your children.
1. KEEP IT SHORT.
A short instructional time that catches and holds a child's interest is better than a long, drawn-out time that leaves the child bored and frustrated.
2. TEACH "BITE SIZE" PORTIONS.
In order to keep the instruction from becoming long and burdensome for the child, teach a word at a time, a phrase at a time, or a verse at a time as it suits the age and attention span of your child. The Bible is so rich that a single verse can present a number of different avenues for instruction. Rather than worry about being exhaustive in your instruction about a passage, pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit and teach those points that God puts on your heart. Spend several days on a passage rather than try to cover it all at one sitting.
3. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
It is great to be creative and put all kinds of effort and energy into your teaching, but it may be unnecessary. By keeping your instruction simple, you are more likely to teach on a consistent basis. If preparation is time consuming, you may find that many days escape with little or no instruction because your schedule is packed. Your preparation should consist of mulling over the meaning of the verse, asking God how it applies in your life and your child's life, and praying that God will make the verse live in your heart and your child's heart.
4. DEFINE UNFAMILIAR WORDS.
5. RELATE THE UNFAMILIAR TO THE FAMILIAR.
Refer back to what your child already knows to help him/her understand a new concept. Build on the knowledge your child already has. For example, in teaching the phrase "He does not treat us as our sins deserve" from Psalm 103:8-10, you may ask your child if he/she can think of a time in the Bible when someone deserved terrible punishment and God chose to forgive him. You can talk about the deserved punishment-what God could have done to that person. Then relate that incident to the phrase, "He does not treat us as our sins deserve."
6. USE REAL LIFE SITUATIONS TO HELP YOUR CHILD UNDERSTAND BIBLICAL TRUTH.
Use experiences that are common to your child to help him understand a biblical concept or the point of the passage. For example, Jeremiah 32:40 includes the word "covenant." This may be an unfamiliar word to some children. An allowance, however, is probably familiar to many children. You could use the idea that an allowance is an agreement between a parent and a child that the parent will give the child a certain amount of money each month.
7. GIVE YOUR CHILD AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTERACT WITH THE TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE.
An easy way to encourage your child to interact with Scripture is to ask him lots of questions: What do you think this verse means? What other verse do you know that talks about the same thing? What verse do you know that proves what you just said? What does it mean to fear God? Can you think of a person you respect? Do you act differently around that person? In what ways do you act differently? In what ways do you act differently to your little brother than you do to your teacher?
8. LEAD YOUR CHILD TO SEE HOW THE SCRIPTURE APPLIES TO HIS/HER LIFE.
The aim of Bible instruction is not just to increase knowledge. It also includes building faith. Help your child to see that the Word of God relates to his/her own life. Ask questions that bring out that relationship: Have you ever seen the truth of this verse in your life or in the life of another person? Do you have any fears? What are they? How will knowing this help you with fear? What can you do when you feel fear? or What do you think God would want you to do now that you understand this verse?
9. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD.
Ask the Holy Spirit to bring about a situation where your child can act on newly discovered truth. Then encourage your child in his walk of faith.