Friday, October 24, 2008

Bible and breakfast

If you come to our house for breakfast, this is what you'll hear: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms ...".

A week ago, it occurred to me that breakfast was wasted time in our house. I would sit reading to my 2-year old son Andrew while I tried to get him to eat, feeling resentful every time he threw the book to the floor when I turned a page ("Do it myself!") or had a tantrum when I fed him the wrong mouthful (amazing the power t a food-resistant 2-year old can have over you!) while the older kids read, played on the computer, or watched a DVD, while shovelling food into their mouths.

Since I was chained to a chair already, and didn't want Andrew to learn to control me, why not use the time more fruitfully?

You may remember that I love memorising the Bible. I've shared how I find passages of about 10 verses easier to learn than single verses or whole books.

People keep reminding me that kids are better than adults at learning things off by heart, so I've wanted to teach my children big slabs of the Bible for a long time. The older 2 kids have individual verses printed out on cards, which they (sporadically) revise each week, but they've never learnt long sections. It's a pity to waste the brief years when memorisation is actually easy!

So that's how it started. A week ago the children and I began sitting at the table together for breakfast. Andrew gets put in the cot if he won't eat his porridge, and comes out a few minutes later eager to eat. The kids and I chat a bit about what we dreamt last night (although I'm discovering there's no such thing as a short conversation about a dream) or talk and pray about the day, and then we start reciting: "Praise be to the God and Father ..."

At odd moments during the day, phrases pop out of my 5-year old son's mouth "...holy and blameless...", "'dopted as his sons...", "'destined for 'ternal life". The older children can already say much of Ephesians 1:3-10 by heart. Clearly, it's already sinking in.

I'm enjoying sharing the wonder of storing God's word in your heart.

Have you got any stories about how you encourage your children to memorise the Bible?

image is from stock.xchng

1 comment:

Catherine said...

It's nice to get a glimpse into your mornings Jean!

Our 3.5 year old, Winton, has been memorising Proverbs with my husband. It is providing great opportunities to shape his worldview and train him toward wisdom. It has a big impact on how he is thinking about the tasks that fill his days.

I have been reading James to him and Audrey (19mths)over morning tea or lunch. I was not trying to get Winton to memorise anything, but he started speaking over the top of me when we came to verses we had read the day before. Then he wanted to do it on his own. Accidental on my part!

We are a bit sporadic with memorisation. I am working on a plan to make it more regular!
Thanks for the encouraging example.