"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."*Here are eight ways I immerse my children in God's Word. Are you doing all of them?
* Read to the children from your Bible. I like to do this at the beginning of the day - often while the children eat breakfast or while they color - both of which seem to improve their listening skills. I have recently taken to reading from the book of Proverbs. It seems there are fewer challenging words in this book, plus it's packed with excellent advice for children. We either proceed or follow this Bible reading with prayer.
* Read to them from a storybook Bible. Our favorites are The Big Picture Story Bible (for the youngest) and The Jesus Storybook Bible. Both do a great job of revealing Jesus in both the Old and New Testaments. We also read vintage The Bible Story (by Arthur S. Maxwell); this series does the best job of covering almost all the stories in the Bible than any other children's Bible storybook I've seen. (Although I dislike all the assumptions the author makes about Jesus' pre-ministry years. I just edit this as I read, though.)
* Have them read from their Bible. For beginning readers, the Hear Me Read Bible is a nice choice. For readers who are a little more advanced, Zonderkidz publishes individual "I Can Read" leveled books that are Bible stories. More advanced readers should do fine with an NIV or NIrV translation of the Bible.
* Listen to the Bible. You can listen to it free at BibleGateway, Biblica, and Audio Bible, among many other places.
* Listen to Christian music. I want my children to know those old hymns; Hymns for a Child's Heart really speaks to them. We also listen to and sing together the memory verse songs in Hide 'Em in Your Heart. It's fine to listen to Christian music for adults, too, but I do think it's smart to have some music that is kid-specific and refers to actual passages of Scripture.
* Use other Christian media. My children have benefited tremendously from listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Jonathan Parks CDs. Learn about other great Christian media for kids by clicking here.
* Memorize scripture together. It is so true that the verses we memorize as children remain with us as adults.
* Refer to scripture throughout the day. This is perhaps easiest when we are correcting our children - especially if we can relate the correction to a memory verse. For example, if one child steals another's toy, you could say, "Is that doing to John as you would have him do to you?" But don't limit the scriptures to correction; use them in praise, too. For example, "Oh, Laura! I know it was hard for you to share with John, but you did a wonderful job of doing to others as you would have them do to you. I know God is pleased with you...and so am I."
How do you immerse your children in God's Word?
* In this passage, the Bible is referring specifically to the Ten Commandants - the foundational information everyone needs to know in order to repent and accept Christ's grace. But I believe it also applies broadly to all of God's Word.
Photo courtesy dvest / 123RF Stock Photo.