Teaching the Word of God

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
There has never been a time, in my opinion, when the basic truths of the Word of God have been more important to our daily living. And, there has never been a time when people seem to fail as much in the reading, teaching, sharing, and making certain that their own family members and dearest friends have a good, clear understanding of what the Bible teaches. In the majority of families and home situations, even among those claiming Christian households, very little, if any, time is set aside on a daily or even weekly basis to study the Bible, to learn its rich truths, and to convey its importance to those we love.

Not too many years ago, family devotions together at a given time, with each child, any elderly members of the household, and mom or dad, were a common practice. Now, with both parents working to keep the household together, children going in different directions for sports, cultural, or educational endeavors, and the hectic pace of our lives, this family devotion custom has bitten the dust in many homes. Even eating together at the kitchen or dining room table has been replaced by a quick meal in front of the television in the great room or den.

Conversation between family members is lacking and important communication is lost never to be regained. Families don’t know each other as well as they once did and accomplishments, failures, fears, and goals are simply not shared. Moms and dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other custodial guardians, our young people need us. In fact, I would offer for consideration that they desperately need us, along with some sound teaching and instruction. to follow the course of their lives. I am aware that it takes diligence, determination, and directness to institute and continue a helpful standard of family devotions together.

The briefest description of family devotion is: Reading a passage from God’s word, discussing and teaching about what the verses or story means, applying practically the Scripture to the lives of the family members, and ending in prayer. It is vital that every family member be included, involved, and interested. The most difficult part of having active family devotions is consistency in choosing a time and place to conduct them on a regular basis.

The Bible is an exciting book. The stories and people found in the pages of Scripture rival the best writing ever done, present characters and plots far better than television or the movies, depict heroes, villains, good guys, and bad guys, and teaches the readers the importance of knowing what God wants from each of us. We glean down to earth advice for living, spiritual insight, the plan of salvation, and recognize what we should do and should not do, no matter our age or occupation. It is not boring and I am always amazed when some knowledgeable adult tells me, “I just cannot read the Bible. It is too boring, or I don’t understand it.” I agree that some of the chapters may be hard to understand, but they are included for a reason, and if we apply ourselves to study in an honest manner, they make sense and help us to grow. All of us stumble a bit through the “begats,” but we learn from them.

I was stunned when my son, who is also my pastor, said from the pulpit, that studies and surveys show that only two out of every ten people know how to articulate their faith well enough to convey to others what they believe and why they believe it. He illustrated his point by numbering ten people and showing that one and two were able to “give an answer to any man that might ask,” while the other eight could not. He went up and down our seating pattern and demonstrated how few the two are in comparison to the number claiming Christianity.

In this same sermon, he spoke about how valuable and important it is today to have Biblical education start in the home as opposed to depending on the church or school to help teach your child or children. Children and young adults should spend more quality time at home with a parent or guardian than in school or church, and yet, very little time is given in the home to the study of God’s word and the principles of Christian living.

The pastor said studying the Bible at home as a family group, even if you do not have a traditional family, or when only one parent can be present, and especially in blended families, is vital to helping equip our boys and girls, and our moms and dads, to face living in today’s world. He said that first this family devotion time must become a habit. You do it every day or every evening and you remain consistent. Someone in the family is responsible for choosing and reading the Scripture. The children should participate based on their age level and maturity. I think you might be surprised at the depth your child ore children have about Scripture.

This time of study together leads to a sense of family worship. It enforces the importance of the Bible in your home. An interesting point to me was the availability or tools available now to help teach God’s word. You can Google almost any subject and see different views or obtain help for the teaching portion of the devotion. There are complete guidelines or suggestions for family study. Moreover, he emphasized that our children and teens should be taught and encouraged to use these tools to get answers to questions that might have.

If we study together, pray together, and live respectfully with each other, we find that our homes tend to become places of rest, a haven to flee the wearisome nature of life, and that it becomes a trusted oasis for each of our children and adults. Children (and adults) learn to go to the Bible for answers they need and they become much more able to fight off the onslaughts of the devil on their lives. Even single adults can benefit from a time of Bible reading and prayer on a regular basis. Will you kindly consider a personal family or individual devotion in your home?

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or
[email protected]


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