I teach them so many things… like not to drink expired milk, and how to safely cross an intersection.
How not to shoot their brothers in the eyeball with a Nerf dart, and how to put the toilet seat down… even though it still seems super optional 85% of the time.
How to apologize, clean up their toys, wash their hands, and floss their teeth; even those ornery little molars way at the back.
I teach them about the continents, the oceans, and all those super crazy creatures at the very bottom of the sea. The clouds, volcanoes, patterns and textures, Einstein, Edison, Livingstone, and Lincoln.
How to ride a bike.
How to treat a lady.
How to listen and wait their turn.
How to clear their own dishes from the table.
How to put away their shoes and hang up their coats.
And in this particular season… how to screen share for an online Spanish Zoom class presentation.
All of that stuff is good and important, and it truly consumes a lot of my day. Yet I’m realizing more and more that the most important thing I want to teach my kids, is that God is real, that He loves them, and He made them with a purpose while they are here on this earth.
I want to teach my kids to love God, to put Him first in their lives in all they do, and to keep eternity in their hearts. I want to teach them to understand that our thoughts, actions, choices, how we love others, the way we live in THIS life, matters in the next.
I want them to read, understand, and love God’s word at a young age.
One day after reading aloud I closed up our Bible. He wasn’t even looking at me when I heard him say, “Mom, you know, it seems like this might be the most important thing…”
Yes. It seems like it, because it is.
Jesus is the most important thing.
Loving God and following his ways is the most important thing.
Loving others and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us is the most important thing.
So we’ll still carry on with all the other stuff; 3D shapes, fractions, and decimals. We’ll practice sight words and sentence structure, the importance of adverbs, and the remarkable construction feat of the Egyptian pyramids.
But the thing we’ll always set aside time for in our day, and the thing we’ll always come back to, is the Word of God and the incredible stories within it.
Here’s a list of some well-loved children’s Bibles and devotionals that we take turns pulling off our shelf everyday. These are the ones that we love, BUT I am convinced more than ever that the very best Bible – is simply the one that you read.
For the younger ones:
The Jesus Storybook Bible – by Sally Lloyd Jones (DVD’s are also available) (This one gives such a beautiful overview of the ENTIRE story of the Bible, and makes this mama cry sometimes because it’s just so nicely written.)
My First Hands-On Bible (This one introduces small sections of verses straight from scripture.)
For the older ones:
The Illustrated Holy Bible for kids (NIRV) (Small print, but flows and reads easily. NIRV is written at about a grade 3 reading level, perfect for kids.)
Egermeier’s Bible Story Book – by Egermeier (We read this one a LOT and this is the one my Mom read to us as kids. It tells so many stories that are left out of typical kid’s Bibles and has led to so many great conversations. We also often look up the verses in our ‘real Bible’ to explore the story further. Such a good stepping stone to the whole Bible.)
Bibleforce – The First Heroes Bible (Perfect for the comic book lovers in my house.)
Indescribable: 100 devotions about God and Science – by Louie Giglio
How Great is our God: 100 devotions about God and Science – by Louie Giglio (We love reading these and looking up videos about the science he weaves into Biblical truths.)
Love Does for Kids – by Bob Goff (It’s Bob Goff, what more is there to say… he’s the best.)
Foundations: 12 Biblical Truths to Shape a Family – by Ruth and Troy Simons (This book has a corresponding podcast where you can hear the authors talk about each of the 12 Biblical truths. You can get them into your heart while you’re folding your laundry, before you share them with your family.)