Building a Firm Foundation: The Importance of Bible Study for Children

Building a Firm Foundation: The Importance of Bible Study for Children

Our Atlanta Christian school teachers know that helping children build a firm foundation of faith is essential to navigating a world full of conflicting worldviews, distractions, and temptations. However, we believe that the study of the Bible is more than a subject taught in private school classrooms or at church on Sunday. It applies to everyday life. As such, it deserves a regular spot in a child’s daily routine.

What are the benefits of Bible study for children? That’s a long list. Frequent time spent in God’s word impacts every area of life, even for children.

Studying the Bible…

…builds a strong, biblical worldview.

Children are surrounded by a mass of voices each day, all loudly asserting a worldview of their own. Through saturation in God’s word, children can better discern which voices to listen to and which to be wary of. They learn to separate truth from lies, biblical wisdom from earthly deceit, and ultimately, good from evil.

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8, English Standard Version

…teaches wisdom for dealing with life issues.

The issues and challenges that a child will face during their formative years range from simple to incredibly complex. Whether they are dealing with playground disagreements or the untimely death of a loved one, the Bible is a wellspring of wisdom, encouragement, and advice for dealing with life’s ups and downs.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17, English Standard Version

…teaches children who God is.

The Bible is a letter from God to his children. As with any letter you receive, knowing the author is crucial to understanding what is being communicated and what it means for the reader. Knowing God’s character, attributes, and promises helps children better understand what it is he wants to tell them through his word.

“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” – Deuteronomy 32:4, English Standard Version

…teaches children who they are in Christ.

A quick look at our society reveals that people crave a defined identity. They grasp at titles, professions, preferences, and traits to define them. Yet, so many are left unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Believers know that they are not defined by worldly labels, but by the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Knowing their identity in Christ can help children battle insecurities and cast off the labels that the world tries to place on them. Additionally, it can help them identify areas of wrong thinking and replace them with biblical affirmations.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17, English Standard Version

…teaches children how to think about others.

The Bible has plenty to say about how believers should view and treat others. The “Golden Rule” is one popular example that children can memorize, but many other passages also give excellent advice toward interpersonal relationships and conflict. They also remind us to view others as God does, to desire their salvation, and to put them first.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4, English Standard Version

…helps children refocus their priorities.

It can be difficult for a child to properly order his priorities in a world that focuses on achievements and material success. Through the study of God’s word, children are reminded to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Luke 12:34, English Standard Version

…equips children to deal with anxiety.

Studies show that over 20% of children worldwide show symptoms of anxiety, a number that continues to grow. Parents and teachers can help children battle this overwhelming statistic by pointing them to the truth and hope of scripture, which calls believers to cast their anxieties on God, because he cares for them (1 Peter 5:7).

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27, English Standard Version

…helps children recognize and fight against sin.

Children can learn from the example of Jesus and from the stories of many others in the Bible. Here they will discover how to put on the armor of God and battle against sin and temptation. The Bible is clear about the kinds of behaviors that should be avoided. By leading children back to scripture, parents and teachers can give them the “why” behind instruction and discipline and point them in the right direction.

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11, English Standard Version

…teaches exemplary behavior.

Not only does scripture teach children what not to do, but it also highlights behaviors and qualities to strive for. There is no better resource for building quality character than the Bible, which teaches key principles such as humility, forgiveness, and compassion.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

…shows children the way they should go.

The Bible is an essential tool for seeking guidance in tough decisions. It encourages believers not to “lean on [their] own understanding,” but to acknowledge the One who directs the paths of those who seek him.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105

How to Encourage Children to Dive Deeper into God’s Word

Don’t treat Bible study like another subject to learn or a task on a daily to-do list. Rather, aim to nurture in children a desire for God’s word. The following ideas can help to foster a natural hunger for scripture:

  • Set an example: Don’t simply tell children the importance of studying their Bibles; show them. For parents, this might mean allowing your child to witness their personal study time. For teachers, it could be modeled by looking first to scripture to help children solve the problems they encounter.
  • Read together: Experiencing the joy of studying and discussing the Bible with family and classmates will invite children to open the Bible more frequently on their own.
  • Explain the importance of reading the Bible: Discuss why believers should spend time studying the Bible.
  • Ask questions: Help children unpack and understand what the text says by asking questions such as “what do you think this means?” or, “how can you live this out in your own life?”
  • Encourage them to ask questions: The more children explore God’s word, the more questions they will have. Encourage questions that seek to know more about God and his will for them, and be honest when you may not know the answer.
  • Pray that they will develop a hunger for God’s Word: Pray that God would reveal himself to children through his word and stir in their hearts a desire to know and glorify him.

God’s word is more than a textbook, it is the rich narrative of God’s love and mercy woven through each verse and story from Genesis to Revelation, and a guide for a Christ-centered life. God communicates to his children through scripture, so it is never too early to begin planting the seeds of a well-nourished spiritual life. As you seek to instill a hunger for God’s word in the children he has placed in your care, remember Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (English Standard Version).

Looking for a curriculum where the Bible and school come together to educate your child mentally and spiritually? Ask about our Christian private school near Atlanta.