This particular year, however, we realized that we weren't doing a very good job teaching our young children about spiritual things, biblical content and how to live in a way that honors Jesus. Like many, while we were blessed with godly parents and Christian homes, we still struggled with how to do family worship as some would call it, and yet have our kids (and us) actually enjoy it.
In addition our two kids, a boy and a girl, were nearly five years apart adding a few other challenges. So one of the ideas we came up with was to start acting out Bible stories rather than just read them from the Bible or other not so interesting book. We quickly discovered that younger children get especially engaged when they can be a part of the story.
Our son especially enjoyed being the lion to my Daniel while anything Amy could do to dress up made any story extra fun for her. All their stuffed animals lined up on our couch as we went through Noah and the ark made for an especially fun time. You can imagine how others might have turned out.
That little exercise helped us realize that there are other ways to get our kids into the Scriptures. I don't have time to cover more than a few ideas but I encourage you to think of ones that might work best in your home, with your unique kids, backgrounds and training.
However, let me mention a couple of directions you might go. One is to watch a movie and plan to talk about some of the implications afterwards. Of course, your choice of movie and even whether to use this idea will depend on the maturity of your children. If they're not old enough for a full-length movie, use a short piece that they can hang with long enough to get one important idea.
You can also serve together at a local shelter, retirement home, children's home or low-income neighborhood. Somewhere in the process read some of the key Bible passages (and there are many) about helping the poor, widows and others in need. Talk about their experience and let them verbalize other life lessons.
Do an interactive study where everyone gets to participate, answer a question or give a comment. Try using a simple method such as W-O-R-D, with W standing for worship and looking for a characteristic of God, Jesus or the Spirit. O stands for observe. R stands for reflect on what it might mean to you and D is do, what actions could come as a result of reading this passage? Again, this must be age appropriate but it works.
You see, there are lots of ways to teach the Bible, to place God's truth in the hearts of our kids and yet do it in such a way that it is welcomed, enjoyed and embraced. Are you willing to try some things at your house this year? Training our kids in the way they should go is not optional, parents, and it's not up to the church or Christian school to do it all though they can help.
I wonder how many more of us just might look forward to embracing the challenges from our pastors and other leaders if we only had a little creative success along the way. Try it. You can't afford not to. Go for it.