Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Sarah McCubbin
Do you teach the Bible at home? For the first 8 years of being parents, my husband and I really didn’t have a good picture of what that could look like for our family. We were and are believers in Jesus, and we had both been raised in Christian homes (his dad was a pastor), schools and colleges. We had been immersed in faith from the time we were little. But as far as teaching our kids, what did that look like?
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When I was in my early 30’s, I had a crisis of faith. Doing church the way we always had stopped making sense and so my husband and I decided to stop going to church…and start doing church at home.
You see, both of us realized that we had outsourced teaching our kids the Bible. We were homeschooling parents…but we weren’t really teaching the Bible at home. We were relying on them to get that at Sunday School. But as part of our faith journey, the words from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 really started to convict us…to paint a different picture of what this could look like.
“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
We were missing the part where we talked about faith when we were sitting in the house, walking through the day, reading books at night and as we planned for our day. We were missing how to integrate this with our life…so it felt natural…and not like a box we were checking.
Over the past 10 years, the Lord has done a work in our lives…and in our family…to show us Himself…and what a relationship looks like. Life with Jesus is so much more than religious expression…so much. I would venture to say the religious expression works for some people…and not for others. But a relationship with Jesus is just that…a relationship. And those happen as a part of daily life.
Table of Contents
Ways We Teach the Bible at Home
1. Talk About the Bible As a Normal Part of Life
Just like Deuteronomy 6:4-9 talks about…we talk about the Bible as part of daily life. If we have a problem, what does the Bible say? If we need wisdom, who do we ask? Is there a promise that applies to our current situation? We talk about it. This is simple and profound. It makes the truth of the Bible applicable to daily life.
2. Teach the Bible at the dining room Table
When we first stopped going to church, we all sat at the dining room table and had a 20-minute devotion…with doughnuts. Our kids were ranging in age from babies up to 9 years old…so they didn’t have a great attention span. But, it was still time to talk about the Bible.
3. Use Holidays to teach the Bible at home
I love to use both Jewish and Christian holidays to teach the Bible at home. We have had many special memories celebrating Advent, Christmas, Passover, Easter, and many more. Usually, we try to incorporate some of the traditional elements, special foods, and of course read the Bible. I always joke that if there is fire or food involved, my kids will sit and listen.
4. Choose extra activities that support our kids in learning how to think critically
In our family, we prize a good disagreement…that is, we want our kids to wrestle with ideas before choosing what to believe. So we carefully choose other activities and organizations that also support our kids learning to think. Some of our favorites include:
- Christian camps – locally our kids go to Camp Carl which does an amazing job of speaking life over kids and teaching them who they are…and how much God loves them.
- Worldview Camp – teaches students age 13 to 18 to address issues in the culture through the lense of the Bible
- Teen Pact – teaches students how to interact in government
5. Live in community with others who believe the Bible
As parents, we prioritize spending time with other families and adults who like to think, challenge ideas and talk about faith. We don’t necessarily need to agree with everyone, but we do want our kids to see these discussions happening as part of life. The places we find community include:
- Our homeschool co-op
- Church groups
- Our extended family
- Christian school
6. Subscription Boxes
This might seem like a weird one, but we have enjoyed various subscription boxes in our family. And we use them to talk about the Bible and faith as it relates to culture and holidays. This one happens to be a favorite enjoyed by all ages which is wonderful!
Universal Yums – Every month a box of snacks from a different country arrives at your house. Inside is a booklet packed with trivia, recipes, and information about each treat. This is a great opportunity to focus on one country and pray for the people who live there. My kids love it! We have had this one off and on for 5 years because it is such a hit with kids of all ages! If you try it, you will get $5 off with this link!
Days United – We have enjoyed celebrating the Jewish holidays with curated boxes from Days United. These boxes include crafts and activities as well as an educational booklet to help families learn about celebrate these holidays at home.
7. Serve From Home
One of our goals as parents has been for our kids to see us serving as part of daily life. The Bible is full of examples of what it looks like to love people and so many of them easily translate into our 21st-century lives. Some practical ways we have done this include fostering children for 8 years, distributing food from local food pantries, taking care of my grandma before she went to heaven, and serving other families in our local homeschool group.
There are endless ways to serve others…and when we help our kids be a part of that, they understand how the body of Christ works. They understand that God often uses people to do His work here on earth.
8. Read it in front of them
This one seems obvious, but I think its important. We want our kids to see us reading our Bibles. It isn’t a legalistic kind of thing. But I get up and read my Bible most mornings. My kids see me with my Bible. They see it laying open on the dining room table or sitting on a chair with my notebook. It’s not on a shelf and it’s not collecting dust. It is used and they see that.
9. Put it on the walls
This one is so easy and very popular. Putting scripture on the walls is a great way to become intentional about claiming the promises of God and teaching the Bible at home. Find a promise…put it on the wall in the form of artwork…and you have an ever-present reminder of God’s promises in front of you.
10. Sing it in the car
Because I believe that the power of life and death is in the tongue, I have a hard time letting the radio just play whatever the local DJ wants to play. I don’t know if their values align with our values. I don’t know if the words in the songs will speak life or death. So I choose to play Christian music on the radio. Occasionally we turn off a song or two even there, because words matter, and not all of them are Biblical even on Christian radio.
I love the promise in Proverbs 22:6–“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not turn from it.”
That is a loaded verse and many people have wrestled over its meaning. But as I consider it in the context of a healthy relationship…and how it has played out in my family…I see that making a relationship with God a natural part of life has led to my children having their own relationships with God.
It isn’t us trying to indoctrinate them. Our faith in Jesus permeates the corners of life and leaves room for a lot of questions, which has made our faith feel very alive and life giving.
Sharing Your Stories Makes Faith Come Alive
One of the most powerful tools we have to parent our children with the World of God is our own stories.
When you tell your kids stories about your own life…your successes and failures, you have the opportunity to use that to point them back to the Bible as the source of truth. Next time one of your kids isn’t listening or is heading down the wrong path, pull out a story about something YOU did and what the word of God applied in your situation and share that with your kids.
Your stories can make God’s word come alive to your kids!
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Sarah McCubbin, founder of Ten Minute Momentum, is dedicated to helping parents confidently parent their kids by teaching life skills, social skills and leadership skills. As a child she was the kid that never quite fit in and is on a mission to help others understand the building blocks we all need to be successful adults. She lives in Ohio with her husband Mike, and 9 kids ranging in age from 5 to 21 where they use homeschool, private school and public schools for their kids education!