Recent family polling suggests that 72% of parents believe that Bible verses have nothing to do with parenting. Having taught inner city preschool for many years and prayed for children and parents daily, I offer the following four ways that Bible Verses can surely be, as God intends, the very heart of daily parenting.
To Correct our Children
Correcting a child is primarily helping him REPLACE bad behavior or attitude with good…shining a spotlight on God’s ability to help him or her…focusing on helping our little ones get it RIGHT. Next time a child gets in trouble instead of giving him or her a time out try a Bible Out. Learning a Bible verse helps move the child’s mind away from misbehaving and toward God. Using Bible verses for correction also helps parents move from man’s way (correcting a child with anger) to God’s way (correcting a child with love and support) . When correcting a child it is often a good idea to correct ourselves first. A little prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit go a long way in helping both us and the child.(2 Timothy 3:16)
To Comfort our Children
Childhood can be full of difficulty, loneliness, loss, fear, anger even hopelessness. Blaming themselves, their parents or God is a normal reaction for many children. Probably the best solution is introducing our children to our own PERSONAL God…the God of all comfort. Share how we pray when we have a problem. A six year old child once asked me “Why does God LET bad things happen?” I told her something but I knew it wasn’t much of an answer. I prayed regularly for two years and then one day, unexpectedly I almost heard a voice saying: “Since the beginning of Creation I have never LET a bad thing happen. I fix bad things…even death. I am your HEAVEN FATHER who fixes things, not an absent God who simply LETS things happen.” Children need to have this clear view of God who comforts, especially the children of divorce and or poverty. Sharing a Bible verse last thing at night can help parents teach children this most important of all lessons…God loves you. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). One of the best ways to use God’s word to comfort is to purchase a Bible calendar to set by each child’s bed then last thing at night share the verse and pray together that God moves it from your heads to your hearts.
To Encourage our Children
If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. This is especially true for children. Standing up to schoolmates and friends is not easy. Sticking a Bible verse in their pocket as they leave the house first thing in the morning is a very good way to encourage almost any child. When your children’s friends visit your home keep a special bowl of Bible Verses near the front door and offer them “One for the Road” as they leave. Influencing your children’s friends before they influence your children is ALWAYS a good idea. A a second bit of parenting advice we can borrow from God is that “He DELIGHTS to reward his children.” All parents must catch their children breaking the rules …but…GREAT parents catch their children being good.
To Protect our Children
Isolating our children from evil, keeping them away from internet Porn, and the network television Muckathon is no longer possible. God’s alternative is insulating them from the world around them. Bible verses make great insulation. A child SURROUNDED by Bible verses will be much safer. Try starting with a bowl of verses by your computer and one by the Television. Before using either machine family members must at least read a bible verse. If we can’t isolate our children we must insulate them…it is the least we can do…the very least. One great source of free PRINTABLE Bible memory cards is www.bibleparent.com
–Charles White is a retired preschool teacher and editor of www.bibleparent.com, a website dedicated to making God’s word in child friendly forms available to parents.