This morning our family enjoyed another bible study. I am not referring to a church-related time of study, but rather our own family's time to examine the scriptures together.
What a great privilege it is to lead my family in the study of God's Word! As a father, I can think of no higher honor than to teach my own children from the holy scriptures. A while ago, we decided as a family that we would choose particular books and study through them. This morning, we completed Nehemiah. It is exciting and encouraging to see our children make insightful comments and ask questions that stretch our knowledge and understanding. We can see their faith growing as we move through the different books of the bible. They see from the different stories how men and women of God lived. For the last few weeks, our kids have been learning from the faithful lives of both Ezra and Nehemiah.
We often hear churches exhorting families to teach their children about God. However, I think many fathers believe that this would be a chore, and thus never try it. Yes, it is our responsibility as dads to teach our children. However, let's not think of this as some sort of work that we have to get out of the way; rather, let's dwell on the privilege we have of instructing our children in the very word of God.
Since we homeschool our children, we have some freedom in when we can have our bible study. We try to do this right after breakfast because it seems to set a good tone for the rest of the day. However, if a family does not homeschool and needs to have bible study at a different time of day, there is certainly no harm in this. The key is just that families be studying through the bible together.
I also do not believe that this needs to be a legalistic issue. If for some reason a family cannot study the bible some days, the world will not come crashing down. For example, since we have been in and out of the hospital lately, our time of bible study has been somewhat erratic. Let us enjoy our time together and try to study the bible faithfully, on a daily basis if possible, but also understanding that there are circumstances that may get in the way once in a while.
I strongly believe that one of the greatest gifts we as parents can leave our children is a deep knowledge of the bible. This is something they will carry with them the remainder of their lives. We should not rely on Sunday School teachers, youth workers, or pastor/elders to do this.
We as fathers need to be the primary source of our children's study of the bible. The church should be the secondary source.
Let's enjoy our great privilege!