And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
There are many reasons why parents teach their children to read early. Many studies have shown that teaching your child to read early promotes their neurological, educational, psychological and social development. For many parents, teaching their child to read early is their way of setting their child up for a successful academic future, scholarship, completing college and getting a prestigious job. Although there is nothing wrong with wanting your child to achieve academically, the main reason why Christians should teach their children to read early, is so that they can read God’s words. God’s word is the most valuable thing that we have! Here are four ways you can teach your children to value God’s words.
1. Teach them the Ten CommandmentsIn my household, as soon as our children are able to repeat after me, I start teaching them the ten commandments. On a daily basis before they go to sleep, I tell them the commandments of the Lord or they repeat it aloud after me. The older our children get, is the more they hear the ten commandments and the more they become familiar with it.
In Judges chapter 2, we learn that the children of Israel “forsook the Lord” and “did evil” because they “knew not the Lord.” They forgot his words and all that God had done for them. Constantly teaching your children God's commandments will help them not to forget God’s word. It is a simple step that will help your children understand the importance of God's word in their everyday lives.
2. Value God's Word YourselfWhen your children see you reading God’s word, as you “rise up”, “lay down” or “sit in your house” it will motivate them to do the same thing. I remember when I was younger, I would see my dad reading the Bible very early in the mornings. Now that I am older, I find myself doing the same thing. I read my Bible early in the mornings and my children wake up, seeing me in God’s word.
If you value the Bible as treasure, and your children always see you reading it, quoting it and living in accordance with it, your children will eventually come to the understanding of how valuable it actually is. Coming from a 2nd generation Christian family, honoring God’s Word has been passed down to me, and by God’s grace, I believe that it will take root among my children. The same can happen with your children, if you set that example for them. “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 11:1)
3. Get Your Children a Bible and Encourage Them to Read It
Once our children are ready to read, we teach them how to read using our Bible. Once they are able to read on their own, we reward their accomplishment by getting them their own Bible. Our children are glad when they finally receive their own Bible because they use it to participate in our daily family devotions.
During our family devotions, we read through the whole Bible, one chapter a day. A chapter is read by one child while the others who are able to read follow along in their own Bible. Every child who is able to read gets a night to read a chapter. After reading a chapter, the reader has to pick out a question from the chapter that they read and ask it to their siblings. Whenever the siblings are asked a difficult question they have to search through the chapter that was read, to find the answer.
This family routine really teaches our children to study the Bible as they use it to follow along with the reader and answer questions. It also encourages them to read God’s word daily. Our children are excited whenever they answer a question correctly, and it brings me joy to see my children searching the scriptures for answers. Encouraging your children to read and to search the scriptures for answers is a good pattern for life that will help them understand, apply, and value God’s word.
4. Flood Your House with God’s Word
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the post of thy house, and on thy gates.During the time of Moses, the children of Israel did not have Bibles as we do today. Therefore they were told to write God’s Word on their gates and doors so that whoever went by or walked up to their home would see it. Having God’s word written around their homes made them distinct from the nations around them and served as a constant reminder to them of God’s presence.
In order to help your children to value God’s word, I believe that Christians should make an effort to fill their homes with God’s word. Find a way to place beautiful pieces of art and decor that will engage your childrens eyes in the glorification of God’s word.
If you really want to adorn your home with decor that reflects your faith and causes others to reflect upon God’s word, here are things that can help.