Redeeming the Time (Scheduling)

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  ~ Ephesians 5:15-16

If you’re a Busy Mama like me (or a Busy Papa like my husband).  It’s hard to find the time to do a daily Bible study with your kids.  I hope my tips & encouragement here will help.

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Making Bible study a habit

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When I started trying to read the Bible daily I kept one number in my mind: 28.  I know you can’t always trust psychologists, but they say that if you do something for 28 days, it becomes a habit.

Two key principles must be in place for this to work: you must not skip a day, and you must read at the same time every day.  After 28 days, the time that you do your study can be more flexible, but for the first 28 days it really makes a difference to do it at the same time.

This is because a habit isn’t built in a vacuum.  There are “triggers” to any habit.  I started doing Bible studies at the breakfast table with my kids.  Once we all finished our breakfast, I would get out the Bible and reading assignment for the day.  Before I started writing my own lessons, I would just read to them out of my own Bible or from a Bible storybook for children.  I kept everything on a shelf right by the kitchen table so it could be easily reached.  Many times during the first 28 days, my kids had to remind me to do it.  They liked this quiet story time with Mama.

Now it’s become a habit for me.  Once I finish my coffee and before we start our farm chores, I do our Bible lesson.  I can’t seem to leave the table unless we’ve done it.

This could just as easily be implemented at the lunch or dinner table, or some other daily routine.  My husband does his study with the kids before they go to bed (see more on this below).

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Variety in your program

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Kids like variety, so I’ve put some suggestions here.

Because my children have Bible classes at church on Sundays and Wednesdays, I review those lessons on Monday morning and Thursday mornings.  After Bible class, I gather their worksheets and handouts and  take them home with me.  The next morning, I pull these out and ask the children to tell me what they’ve learned.  It takes about 5-10 minutes and helps them “solidify” what they learned in Bible class.  Often, these will “inspire” a topic for home study.

We don’t have a Bible study on Sunday mornings because we’re trying to get out the door.  That leaves only four mornings when I have to “come up” with a Bible lesson.

But that doesn’t mean you have to search for a different lesson every day.

  • The lessons I’ve written are very long, so you could split one lesson up into different sessions.
  • You can look up and sing hymns that go along with the lesson.  My kids like suggesting Bible songs to go with their lessons.
  • You can look at my Activities page for handwork/craft ideas to support a study.
  • You can do a study that coincides with their school lessons.
  • Spend some time learning more about a particular character that’s mentioned in your study.
  • You can also spend time on Memory Verses that go along with your study.

Don’t worry about “breaking the flow” of things.  Your children will (hopefully) be studying the Bible their entire lives.  It will all come together and “congeal” over time.

In short, I don’t want you to think that you have to do the same thing every day.  And remember, simple, shorter lessons can be more effective, especially for little ones.

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Bible Stories at bedtime

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I still have one child who takes a nap every afternoon.  I use this time to teach him basic Bible lessons that the others already know.  He gets to pick a “regular” story from the bookshelf for me to read when his Bible story is finished.

Many times, the older ones sit and listen too. My daughter has even volunteered at times to read her brother’s story to him while I washed up the lunch dishes!  But I only ask her for that on very busy days. This is a special time of one-on-one closeness with my youngest child.

Four nights a week, the kids have a Bible lesson with dad at bedtime.  First we make sure they’re in their pj’s with their teeth brushed.  They sit at the edge of our bed and he sits in a chair in front of them.  We’ve learned to confiscate any toys, rubber bands, and other objects before the lesson begins 🙂  Then he drills them on their books of the Bible before reading them a lesson.

Now at bedtime my kids ask Daddy eagerly if it’s time for Bible study yet.  They really look forward to this time with Dad’s undivided attention.  After a song and prayer, it’s time for kisses and they’re sent off to their rooms.  It’s a very pleasant way to end the night!

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Clearing your schedule

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I know your plate is probably already full.  In fact, the devil will make sure of it ~ there are few things he hates more than Christian families.  Chances are, something else will have to go if you want to have a daily Bible study with your kids.

You may need to re-evaluate your family’s schedule.  Your kids (and/or their parents) may have to give up an extra-curricular activity.  You may need to get up earlier or go to bed later so that there’s time for Bible study.  You may need to decide that the beds can stay unmade, or you may need to designate a “sandwich night” so you’ll have extra time that evening to download lessons.  You may even need to tell your kids that their schoolwork is not as important as ten minutes with you and the Bible.

I just want to encourage you to remember your heavenly goal.  Nothing else that you do with your children will have more eternal consequence than teaching them to love God and His Word. If you want to know if it’s worth it, read this!


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One Response to “Redeeming the Time (Scheduling)”

  1. Amy Rosa Says:

    Thank you, Janice! You have given me more encouragement, assurance and challenged me to even include the Bible more and more in our days. That is something the Lord is showing me. I so appreciate all that you have done here and intend to use as much as I can explore through.
    Blessings!
    amy


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